Famous Last Words: Albert Einstein


When Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955 in Princeton Hospital, the nurse assigned to him did not speak German and his last words were not understood. He did however leave a piece of writing ending in an unfinished sentence. These were his last written words:

“In essence, the conflict that exists today is no more than an old-style struggle for power, once again presented to mankind in semireligious trappings. The difference is that, this time, the development of atomic power has imbued the struggle with a ghostly character; for both parties know and admit that, should the quarrel deteriorate into actual war, mankind is doomed. Despite this knowledge, statesmen in responsible positions on both sides continue to employ the well-known technique of seeking to intimidate and demoralize the opponent by marshaling superior military strength. They do so even though such a policy entails the risk of war and doom. Not one statesman in a position of responsibility has dared to pursue the only course that holds out any promise of peace, the course of supranational security, since for a statesman to follow such a course would be tantamount to political suicide. Political passions, once they have been fanned into flame, exact their victims … Citater fra…”

(New York TimesAlbert Einstein: Historical and Cultural Perspectives By Gerald Holton, Yehuda Elkana)