Einstein’s death (1879-1955)

by lapostina

Albert Einstein passed away on this day- 18th of April, 1955.

Albert Einstein’s health deteriorated sharply in 1955. He wrote a will and told his friends: “I have done my duty on Earth.”

His last work was the unfinished appeal to prevent nuclear war.

From B. Kuznetsov’s book “Einstein. Life. Death. Immortality”:

“…Einstein loved life and with that a few years beforehand finished a letter to Solovin with the words: to die- isn’t that bad either”. It is not apathy to life, but rather the supreme love of live filled with “impersonal manner”, this attitude to life is close to Hellenic harmony, however the most important things belonging to our century are the “impersonal” tasks which are the history of mankind

In a week, on the 13th of April, Einstein began to feel unwell, he began to experience strong pains in the right side of his stomach. Doctors identified aortic aneurysm and suggested surgery. Einstein refused surgery.

His strength began to disappear. On a Sunday, on the 17th of April, Einstein began to feel better. Hans-Albert visited him. Einstein spoke with his son, and in particular, complained about the difficulties of constructing a mathematical apparatus for the unified field theory. This, is what we now know as, not an expression of temporary difficulties, but the fundamental and deeply dramatic features of Einstein’s creations.

Einstein stayed in the very same hospital as his stepdaughter Margo. On the evening of the 17th of April, Margo was taken in a wheelchair to Einstein’s bed. He felt good, talked to Margo and the two separated. Helen Dukas left the hospital even earlier.At the beginning of two o’clock in the morning, Miss Rozsel the nurse, noticed that Einstein was breathing heavily in his sleep. She wanted to call the doctor, and as she was heading for the door she heard Einstein pronounce a few words in German. the nurse did not understand the words, but walked towards the bed. It was 1:25 am and at this very moment Einstein died. The autopsy revealed bleeding from the aorta into the abdominal cavity.

Friends and family of Einstein

Einstein’s will was already known. He wished not to have any religious rites or any official ceremonies. At his request, even the time or place of his funeral was not told to anyone other than a few close friends who carried Einstein’s body to the crematorium. The ashes scattered in the air.

The effect of Einstein’s death on humankind has reminded us of Leonid Andreev’s novella “Gulliver’s Death” which was written after Leo Tolstoy’s death. When Gulliver was alive, at night the Lilliputs could hear the beating of his heart. This was the feeling people had when Einstein was alive. And now the heard of the giant has silenced. People experience the same feeling when a large public figure or a brilliant writer passes away.  It was for the first time that the death of a naturalist felt this way…”

Translated from Sandinist’s article