The great physicist Albert Einstein passes away in Princeton Hospital, New Jersey on 18 April 1955. The cause of his death was the rupture of an aneurysm, which had already been reinforced by surgery in 1948.
Einstein refused to undergo further surgery, saying “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.“
However, his very last words will remain forever unknown because they were uttered in his native German. Namely, as he lay dying in bed, he muttered a few last words in that language. The only witness was his nurse and she unfortunately didn’t speak the language.
Einstein kept working almost to the very end, leaving the Generalized Theory of Gravitation unsolved. He was 76 years old at the time of his death.
He did, however, leave an unfinished piece of writing, which ends abruptly mid-sentence:
“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…“