These Letters Provide A Look Into The Fears And Reflections Of Albert Einstein
People like Albert Einstein can rarely afford the luxury of being thought of as people; especially after their deaths.
Their achievements overshadow their humanity so thoroughly, that there are infinitely more people who know that E=MC squared than those who know anything remote about his personal life. Which is why the letters that were recently acquired from the collection of his younger sister and her husband provide some much-needed insight into his life.
From what we can gauge was a very close relationship, Einstein wrote to his sister about his life after his Theory Of Relativity in 1915. He talks about how far his research got him but that he’d somewhat slowed down in his older age-
“Scientifically I haven’t achieved much recently – the brain gradually goes off with age, although that’s not so unpleasant. It also means that you’re not so answerable for your later years.”
Far from his charming and confident public personal persona, these letters show a side to him that is both humble but also aware of his slowing contributions to the scientific field. He even mentions to her in another letter how difficult it was to collaborate in the field of physics.
“In our main avenues of research in physics, we are in a situation of groping in the dark, where each is completely sceptical about what another is pursuing with the highest hopes. One is in a constant state of tension until the end. At least I have the comfort that my main achievements have become part of the foundations of our science.”
Source, Image is a property of Christie’s
In yet another letter, he wrote matter of factly about his fame. How people everywhere envied him and he could do nothing about it.
But the most heart-wrenching excerpts come from his renouncing German citizenship and fleeing to the United States after the Nazis began to gain power in Europe. He mentions how afraid he is that life will never be the same again if he chooses to return from America.
“What will happen if we come back from Princeton next year? Will we even be able to? What will life be like there? The only unshakeable things are the stars and mathematics.”
The letters were acquired by the auction house along with a rare photo of Einstein as a five-year-old.
Source, Image is the property of Christie’s
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