Einstein on Peace

Einstein on Peace

Einstein on Peace

Einstein on Peace

Excerpt

During my last conversation with Einstein, only a few hours before his death, he talked about the embattled civil liberties in the United States since the end of the war and the rearmament of Germany, which he considered most unwise and a severe obstacle to the establishment of real peace in the world. A few days before, he had affixed the last signature of his life to a statement of nine scientists, in which the world was warned it would run the risk of universal annihilation unless the institution of war was abolished in the near future.

I was in London a few months later when that statement was released to the world. I discussed with Bertrand Russell the unique role Einstein had played in the fight against war, a fight which was now more crucial and urgent than ever before. It was then that I conceived of the project which is realized in this volume. Since Einstein himself could no longer speak to the world and was no longer able to struggle personally for peace on earth, I felt that the printed record of his ceaseless efforts against militarism and war might help in the fight for a saner world.

It seemed appropriate that the first collection of Einstein's writings to be published after his death should be a volume devoted to his activities in the cause of peace. Einstein's thirst for knowledge about the universe overshadowed everything else in his life. His curiosity about the laws of nature was first stimulated when, as a child, he was fascinated by a compass; and his interest in science was to dominate his thoughts until the end. Nothing else mattered as much as his scientific work; but I know from the experience gained in the many years during which I enjoyed his friendship and confidence that, except for his devotion to science, no cause was more important or closer to his heart than the determination that the institution of war be forever abolished. What were the roots of that determination? What were the forces that inspired him?

Einstein fought for the abolition of war not merely because he hated brutality and considered it unconscionable to seek solutions . . .

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