By John M. Ricci
October 29, 2014
Quotes attributed to the smartest man ever.
Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany on March 14, 1879. As a child, Einstein revealed an extraordinary curiosity for understanding the mysteries of science (started only at age 10/11). A typical child (only to his socio-economic class — educated middle class), Einstein took music lessons, playing both the violin and piano — a passion that followed him into adulthood.
Einstein, age 14
Moving first to Milan
and then to Switzerland
, the young prodigy graduated from high-school in 1896.
In 1905, while working as a patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland, Einstein had what came to be known as his “Annus Mirabilis” — or “miracle year”. It was during this time that the young physicist obtained his Doctorate degree and published four of his most influential research papers, including the Special Theory of Relativity.
In that, the now world famous equation “e = mc2
” unlocked mysteries of the Universe theretofore unknown.
Ten years later, in 1915, Einstein completed his General Theory of Relativity and in 1921 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics (iconic status cemented in 1919 when Arthur Eddington’s expedition confirmed Albert Einstein’s prediction).
Einstein’s General Relativity – Spacetime Curvature
It also launched him to international superstardom and his name became a household word synonymous with genius all over the world.
Einstein’s Official Photo for Nobel Prize in Physics, 1921
Einstein emigrated to the United States in the autumn of 1933 and took up residence in Princeton
, New Jersey and a professorship at the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study
Today, the practical applications of Einstein’s theories include the development of the television, remote control devices, automatic door openers, lasers, and DVD-players. Recognized as TIME magazine’s “Person of the Century” in 1999, Einstein’s intellect, coupled his strong passion for social justice and dedication to pacifism, left the world with infinite knowledge and pioneering moral leadership.
“All of science is nothing more than refinement of everyday thinking.”
– From “Physics and Reality”, Albert Einstein, 1936
• “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Quoted in interview by G.S. Viereck , October 26,1929. Reprinted in “Glimpses of the Great”(1930).
• “Why is it that nobody understands me, yet everybody likes me?”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in an interview with New York Times, March 12,1944.
• “I want to know God’s thoughts. The rest are details.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by E. Salaman in “ A Talk with Einstein”, Listener 54 (1955)
• “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”
—Albert Einstein — To Fred Wall, 1933. AEA 31–845
• “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
—Albert Einstein — To Carl Seelig – March 11,1952. AEA 39–013
• “Only the one who does not question is safe from making a mistake.”
—Albert Einstein — From a letter to Gustav Bucky, 1945. AEA 037–462
• “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”
—Albert Einstein — From an address at the commencement excercises of Swarthmore College, 1938
• The most beautiful experience we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science…”
From “The World As I See It” (1930), reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 11.
• “Regarding sex education: no secrets!”
—Albert Einstein — To the World League for Sexual Reform, September 6,1929. AEA 48–304
• “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
—Albert Einstein — To J. Dispentiere – March 24, 1954. AEA 59–495
• “The more success the quantum theory has, the sillier it looks.”
—Albert Einstein — To Heinrich Zangger – May 20,1912. AEA 39–655
• “If I were to start taking care of my grooming, I would no longer be my own self….”
—Albert Einstein — To Elsa Löwenthal, ca. December 2, 1913. CPAE, Vol 5, Doc.489.
• “I think we have to safeguard ourselves against people who are a menace to others, quite apart from what may have motivated their deeds.”
—Albert Einstein — To Otto Juliusburger – April 11,1946. AEA 38–228
• “Everything is determined…by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust—we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in interview by G.S. Viereck , October 26,1929. Reprinted in “Glimpses of the Great”,1930.
• “I lived in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in Portraits & Self-Portraits by George Schreiber 1935–1936. AEA 28–332
• “It is not a lack of real affection that scares me away again and again from marriage. Is it a fear of the comfortable life, of nice furniture, of dishonor that I burden myself with, or even the fear of becoming a contented bourgeois.” —
—Albert Einstein — To Elsa Löwenthal, after August 3, 1914. CPAE, Vol. 8, Doc.32.
• “Strenuous intellectual work and the study of God’s Nature are the angels that will lead me through all the troubles of this life with consolation, strength, and uncompromising rigor.”
—Albert Einstein — To Pauline Winteler – July 3,1897. AEA 29–453
• “The aim [of education] must be the training of independently acting and thinking individuals who, however, see in the service to the community their highest life problem.”
—Albert Einstein — From Address, October 15, 1936 – Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 60.
• “Enjoying the joys of others and suffering with them—these are the best guides for man.”
—Albert Einstein — To V. Bulgakow, November 4, 1931. AEA 45–702.
• “People like you and I, though mortal of course, like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live. What I mean is that we never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery into which we were born.”
—Albert Einstein — To Otto Juliusburger, September 29,1942.
• “I believe that a simple and unassuming life is good for everybody, physically and mentally.”
—Albert Einstein — From “The World As I See It” (1930), reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 8.
• “The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.”
—Albert Einstein —From Mein Weltbild (1934). Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 12
• “Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.”
—Albert Einstein — To F.S. Wada, July 30, 1947. AEA 58–934.
• “I believe the most important mission of the state is to protect the individual and make it possible for him to develop into a creative personality….”
—Albert Einstein — From address to the Disarmament Conference of 1932 (1931). Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 95.
• “Just as with the man in the fairy tale who turned whatever he touched into gold, with me everything is turned into newspaper clamor.”
—Albert Einstein — To Max Born, September 9, 1920. AEA 8–151.
• “I am truly a ‘lone traveler’ and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart. In the face of all this, I have never lost a sense of distance and the need for solitude.”
—Albert Einstein — From “The World As I See It” (1930), reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 99.
• “Music does not influence research work, but both are nourished by the same sort of longing, and they complement each other in the release they offer.”
—Albert Einstein — To Paul Plaut, October 23, 1928. AEA 28–065
• “A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.”
—Albert Einstein —. From “My Future Plans”, September 18,1896. CPAE Vol.1, Doc. 22.
• “Where there is love, there is no imposition.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in Sayen, Einstein in America, 294.
• “The monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”
—Albert Einstein — From Civilization and Science, October 3, 1933. Quoted in The Times (London), October 4, 1933.
• “Most teachers waste their time by asking questions that are intended to discover what a pupil does not know, whereas the true art of questioning is to discover what the pupil does know or is capable of knowing.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by Moszkowski in Conversations with Einstein (1920) 65.
• “My relationship to the Jewish people has become my strongest human bond, ever since I became fully aware of our precarious situation among the nations of the world.”
—Albert Einstein — Statement to Abba Eban, November 18,1952. AEA 28–943.
• “I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express in words afterwards.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in M. Wertheimer, “Productive Thinking” (1959).
• “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.”
—Albert Einstein — To P. Moos, March 30,1950. AEA 60–587.
• “As an elderly man, I have remained estranged from the society here.”
—Albert Einstein — To Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians, February 16,1935. AEA 32–385.
• “If there is no price to be paid, it is also not of value.”
—Albert Einstein — Aphorism, June 27,1920. AEA 36–582.
• “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
—Albert Einstein —Quoted in the New York Times, June 20,1932 AEA 29–041
• “I never worry about the future. It comes soon enough.”
—Albert Einstein — Aphorism, 1945–1946. AEA 36–570
• “Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by William Miller in Life Magazine, May 2, 1955
• “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by William Miller in Life Magazine, May 2,1955
• “To one bent on age, death will come as a release. I feel this quite strongly now that I have grown old myself and have come to regard death like an old debt, at long last to be discharged….”
—Albert Einstein — To Gertrude Warschauer, February 5, 1955. AEA 39–532
• “The most important endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity for life.”
—Albert Einstein — To Reverend C. Greenway, November 20,1950. AEA 28–894.
• “Man owes his strength in the struggle for existence to the fact that he is a social animal.”
—Albert Einstein — From Address, October 15, 1936. Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 62
• “I am not only a pacifist, but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace…. Is it not better for a man to die for a cause in which he believes, such as peace, than to suffer for a cause in which he does not believe, such as war?”
—Albert Einstein — From an interview 1931. Reprinted in Einstein on Peace, 125
• “The heart says yes, but the mind says no.”
—Albert Einstein — From the Travel Diary, February 13,1923. AEA 29–129
• “One becomes a deeply religious nonbeliever…”. It is clear from the original that it is definitely not “I”.
To Hans Muehsam, March 30,1954. AEA 38–434.
• “A scientist is a mimosa when he himself has made a mistake, and a roaring lion when he discovers a mistake of others.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in Ehlers, Liebes Hertz! 45
• “He who cherishes the values of culture cannot fail to be a pacifist.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in Die Friedensbewegung, ed. Kurt Lenz and Walter Fabian (1922) 17.
• “There is nothing divine about [the scientist’s] morality; it is a purely human affair.” –
—Albert Einstein — From Mein Weltbild (1934. Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 40
• “Relativity is a purely scientific matter and has nothing to do with religion.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in Frank, Einstein: His Life and Times, 190.
• “A forced faithfulness is a bitter fruit for all concerned.”
—Albert Einstein — To Dr. Eugenie Anderman, June 2, 1953. AEA 59–097
• “Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I see it as a reflection of the inner beauty of the universe.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in P.A. Bucky, Der Private Albert Einstein, 276
• “Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics; I can assure you that mine are still greater.”
—Albert Einstein — To Barbara Wilson, January 7, 1943. AEA 42–606.
• “The value of achievement lies in the achieving.”
—Albert Einstein — To D. Liberson, October 28, 1950. AEA 60–297
• “The search for truth and knowledge is one of the finest attributes of man—though often it is most loudly voiced by those who strive for it the least.”
—Albert Einstein — From The Goal of Human Existence, April 11, 1943. AEA 28–587
• “The only way to escape the corruptible effect of praise is to go on working.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by Lincoln Barnett, Smithsonian, February 1979, 74
• “If only I could give you some of my happiness so you would never be sad and depressed again.”
—Albert Einstein —To Mileva Marić, May 9, 1901. CPAE, Vol.1, Doc.106.
• “My life is a simple thing that would interest no one. It is a known fact that I was born, and that is all that is necessary.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in The Tower, April 13, 1935.
• “[I] must seek in the stars that which was denied [to me] on earth.”
—Albert Einstein — To Betty Neumann, 1924.
• “I admit that thoughts influence the body.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by W. Hermanns in A Talk with Einstein, October 1943. AEA 55–285.
• “Mysticism is in fact the only criticism people cannot level against my theory.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by R. W.Clark in Einstein :The Life and Times, 268
• “It is difficult to say what truth is, but sometimes it is so easy to recognize a falsehood.”
—Albert Einstein — To Jeremiah McGuire, October 24,1953. AEA 60–483
• “I have always eaten animal flesh with a somewhat guilty conscience.”
—Albert Einstein — To Max Kariel, August 3,1953. AEA 60–058.
• “A life directed chiefly toward the fulfillment of personal desires will sooner or later always lead to bitter disappointment.”
—Albert Einstein — To T. Lee, January 16,1954. AEA 60–235.
• “To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself.”
—Albert Einstein — Aphorism, September 18,1930. AEA 36–598
• “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.” **
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by Ernst Straus in French, Einstein: A Centenary Volume, 32
• “Truly novel ideas emerge only in one’s youth. Later on one becomes more experienced, famous—and foolish.”
—Albert Einstein —To Heinrich Zangger, December 6, 1917. AEA 39–689
• “With fame I become more and more stupid, which of course is a very common phenomenon.”
—Albert Einstein — To Heinrich Zangger, December 24, 1919. AEA 39–726
• (“Violence may at times have quickly cleared away an obstruction, but it has never proved itself to be creative.” ) Should read: “Violence sometimes may have cleared away obstructions quickly, but it never has proved itself creative”—
—Albert Einstein—From “Was Europe a Success?” (1934). Reprinted in Einstein: Essays in Humanism, 49
• “What is essential in the life of a man of my kind is what he thinks and how he thinks, and not what he does or suffers.” Should read: “ … the essential in the being of a man of my type lies precisely in what he thinks and how he thinks, not in what he does or suffers.”
—Albert Einstein —From “Autobiographical Notes” in P. Schilpp ed., Albert Einstein : Philosopher – Scientist,(1949) 33.
• “…My scientific goals and my personal vanity will not prevent me from accepting even the most subordinate position.” Should read: “My scientific goals and my personal vanity will not prevent me from accepting even the most subordinate role”.
—Albert Einstein — To Mileva Marić, July 7,1901. CPAE, Vol.1. Doc. 114.
• “The creative principle [of science] resides in mathematics.”
—Albert Einstein — From “On the Method of Theoretical Physics” (1933). Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 274.
• “The more a country makes military weapons, the more insecure it becomes: if you have weapons, you become a target for attack.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in interview with A. Aram, January 3, 1953. AEA 59–109
• “Whoever is careless with truth in small matters can not be trusted in important affairs.”
—Albert Einstein. — From draft of address on the occasion of the 7th anniversary of Israel’s independence, April 1955 AEA 60–003
• “Without ‘ethical culture,’ there is no salvation for humanity.”
—Albert Einstein—From “The Need for Ethical Culture”, January 5,1951. AEA 28–904
• “The economists will have to revise their theories of value.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in J. Sayen, Einstein in America, 150
• “I am also convinced that one gains the purest joy from spiritual things only when they are not tied in with earning one’s livelihood.”
—Albert Einstein — To L. Manners, March 19,1954. AEA 60–401.
• “Morality is the highest importance—but for us, not for God.”
—Albert Einstein — To M.M. Schayer, August 1927. AEA 48–380
• “Work is the only thing that gives substance to life.”
—Albert Einstein — To son Hans Albert, January 4,1937.
• “I have, for the first time, seen a happy and healthy society whose members are fully absorbed in it.”
—Albert Einstein — To Michele Besso, May 24, 1924. AEA 7–349
• “Marriage is but slavery made to appear civilized.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by K. Wachsmann in M. Grüning, Ein Haus für Albert Einstein, 159
• “I should very much like to remain in the darkness of not having been analyzed.”
—Albert Einstein — To H. Freund, January 1927. AEA 46–304
• “The ability to portray people in still life and in motion requires the highest measure of intuition and talent.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by K. Wachsmann in Grüning, Ein Haus für Albert Einstein, 240
• “I have never obtained any ethical values from my scientific work.”
—Albert Einstein —Quoted in P. Michelmore, Einstein: Profile of the Man, 251
• “God gave me the stubbornness of a mule and a fairly keen scent.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in G.J. Whitrow, Einstein: the man and his achievement, 91
• “Love brings much happiness, much more so than pining for someone brings pain.”
—Albert Einstein — To Marie Winteler, April 21,1896, CPAE Vol.1, Doc. 18
• “What I see in Nature is a grand design that we can understand only imperfectly, one with which a responsible person must look at with humility….”
—Albert Einstein — Should read: “What I see in Nature is a grand design that we can comprehend only imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility…” Quoted in Dukas and Hoffmann, “AE: The Human Side”, 39
• “The content of scientific theory itself offers no moral foundation for the personal conduct of life.”
—Albert Einstein – From “Science and God: A Dialogue”. In Forum and Century 83 (1930), 373
• “All my life I have dealt with objective matters; hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to carry out official functions.”
—Albert Einstein — To Abba Eban, November 18,1952. AEA 28–943
• “I wouldn’t want to live if I did not have my work…. In any case, it’s good that I’m already old and personally don’t have to count on a prolonged future.”
—Albert Einstein —To Michele Besso, October 10,1938. AEA 7–376
• “I have come to know the mutability of all human relationships and have learned to insulate myself against both heat and cold so that a temperature balance is fairly well assured.”
—Albert Einstein — To Heinrich Zangger, March 10, 1917. AEA 39–680
• “Let me tell you what I look like: pale face, long hair, and a tiny start of a paunch. In addition, an awkward gait, and a cigar in the mouth …and a pen in pocket or hand….”
—Albert Einstein — To Elisabeth Ney, September 30, 1920. AEA 42–545
• “My mother has died…. We are all completely exhausted. One feels in one’s bones the significance of blood ties.”
—Albert Einstein — To Heinrich Zangger, March 1920, AEA 39–732
• “When a blind beetle crawls over the surface of a curved branch, it doesn’t notice that the track it has covered is indeed curved. I was lucky enough to notice what the beetle didn’t notice.”
—Albert Einstein — From a letter to his son Eduard, 1922
• “I am an artist’s model”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by H. Samuel , October 1930. AEA 21–006
• “A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer lives are based on the labors of other people, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”
—Albert Einstein — From “The World As I See It” (1930), reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 8 .
• “I have not eaten enough of the Tree of Knowledge, though in my profession I am obliged to feed on it regularly.”
—Albert Einstein — To Max Born, November 9,1919. AEA 8–142
• “Although I tried to be universal in thought, I am European by instinct and inclination.”
—Albert Einstein —Quoted in Daily Express ( London), September 11,1933.
• “That little word ‘WE’ I mistrust and here’s why:
No man of another can say “He is I”.
Behind all agreement lies something amiss
All seeming accord cloaks a lurking abyss.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in Dukas and Hoffmann, AE: The Human Side, 100
• “Personally, I experience the greatest degree of pleasure in having contact with works of art. They furnish me with happy feelings of an intensity that I cannot derive from other sources.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by Moszkowski in Conversations with Einstein, 184
• “Israel is the only place on earth where Jews have the possibility to shape public life according to their own traditional ideals.”
—Albert Einstein —From address, September 19,1954. AEA 28–1054
• “There is only one road to human greatness: through the school of hard knocks.”
—Albert Einstein — From Why I remain a Negro, October 1947. AEA 59–009
• “Now to the term ‘relativity theory.’ I admit that it is unfortunate, and has given occasion to philosophical misunderstandings.”
—Albert Einstein — To E. Zschimmer, September 30,1921. AEA 24–156
• “An hour sitting with a pretty girl on a park bench passes like a minute, but a minute sitting on a hot stove seems like an hour.”
Quoted by Helen Dukas in Sayen, Einstein in America, 130.
• “All of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking.”
—Albert Einstein — From “Physics and Reality” (1936). Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 290
• “Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.”
—Albert Einstein — From “My Credo” 1932. AEA 28–218
• “I cannot write in English, because of the treacherous spelling. When I am reading, I only hear it and am unable to remember what the written word looks like.”
—Albert Einstein — To Max Born, September 7,1944. AEA 8–207
• “Fear or stupidity has always been the basis of most human actions.”
—Albert Einstein — To E. Mulder, April 1954. AEA 60–609
• “I have remained a simple fellow who asks nothing of the world; only my youth is gone—the enchanting youth that forever walks on air.”
—Albert Einstein — To Anna Meyer-Schmid, May 12, 1909. AEA 44–445
• “Freedom of teaching and of opinion in book or press is the foundation for the sound and natural development of any people.”
—Albert Einstein — From “At a gathering for freedom of opinion” (1936). Reprinted in Einstein: Essays in Humanism, 50
• “We must …dedicate our lives to drying up the source of war: ammunition factories.”
—Albert Einstein — Published in Pictoral Review, February 1933. Quoted in R.W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times
• “Politics is a pendulum whose swings between anarchy and tyranny are fueled by perennially rejuvenated illusions.”
—Albert Einstein — Aphorism, AEA 28–388
• “The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve.”
—Albert Einstein — To Beatrice Frohlich, December 17, 1952. AEA59–797
• “Strange is our situation here on earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose.”
—Albert Einstein — From “My Credo”, 1932. AEA 28–218
• “I would absolutely refuse any direct or indirect war service and would try to persuade my friends to do the same, regardless of the reasons for the cause of a war.”
—Albert Einstein — From Die Friedensbewegung, ed., Kurt Lenz and Walter Fabian (1922)
• “I do not play games…. There is not time for it. When I get through with work, I don’t want anything that requires the working of the mind.”
—Albert Einstein —Quoted in New York Times, March 28, 1936, 34:2
• “He who has never been deceived by a lie does not know the meaning of bliss.”
—Albert Einstein — To Elsa Löwenthal, April 30,1912, CPAE, Vol.5, Doc. 389
• “Even the scholars in various lands have been acting as if their brains had been amputated.”
—Albert Einstein — To Romain Rolland, March 22, 1915. AEA 33–002
• “I myself should also be dead already, but I am still here.”
—Albert Einstein — To E. Schaerer-Meyer, July 27,1951. AEA 60–525
• “Every reminiscence is colored by the way things are today, and therefore by a delusive point of view.”
—Albert Einstein —From “Autobiographical Notes” in Schilpp, Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist (1949), 3
• “It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.”
—Albert Einstein — From an interview June 23, 1946. Reprinted in Einstein on Peace, 385
• “Mere unbelief in a personal God is no philosophy at all.”
—Albert Einstein — To V.T. Aaltonen, May 7, 1952. AEA 59–059
• “The more one chases the quanta, the better they hide themselves.”
—Albert Einstein — To Paul Ehrenfest, July 12, 1924. AEA 10–089
• “Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.”
—Albert Einstein — From “ Education for Independent Thought” (1952). Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 67. AEA 60–723
• “It is not so important where one settles down. The best thing is to follow your instincts without too much reflection.”
—Albert Einstein — To Max Born, March 3,1920. AEA 8–146
• “The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.”
—Albert Einstein —Quoted in Life Magazine, January 9,1950.
• “You must be aware that most men (and also not only a few women) are by nature not monogamous. This nature makes itself even more forceful when tradition and circumstance stand in an individual’s way.”
—Albert Einstein — To Dr. Eugenie Anderman, June 2, 1953. AEA 59–097
• “The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts, but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in P. Frank, Einstein: His Life and Times, 185
• “I am very happy with my new home in friendly America and in the liberal atmosphere of Princeton.”
—Albert Einstein —Quoted in “Survey Graphic”, 24 (August 1935) 384,413
• “I know what it’s like to see one’s mother go through the agony of death and be unable to help; there is no consolation. We all have to bear such heavy burdens, for they are unalterably linked to life.”
—Albert Einstein — To Hedwig Born, June 18, 1920. AEA 8–257
• “When I was young, all I wanted and expected from life was to sit quietly in some corner doing my work without the public paying attention to me. And now see what has become of me.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in Hoffmann, Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel, 4
• “The goal of pacifism is possible only though a supranational organization. To stand unconditionally for this cause is …the criterion of true pacifism.”
—Albert Einstein — To A. Morrisett, March 21,1952. AEA 60–595
• “The trite objects of human efforts—possessions, superficial success, luxury—have always seemed contemptible to me.”
—Albert Einstein — From, “The World As I See It” (1930), reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 9.
• “I was originally supposed to become an engineer, but the thought of having to expend my creative energy on things that make practical everyday life even more refined, with a loathsome capital gain as the goal, was unbearable to me.”
—Albert Einstein — To Heinrich Zangger, 1918. CPAE Vol 8, Doc. 597
• “There are two different conceptions about the nature of the universe: (1) the world as a unity dependent on humanity; (2) the world as a reality independent of the human factor.”
—Albert Einstein —From a Conversation with Rabindrath Tagore, July 14,1930. Published in Asia 31 (1931)
• “No idea is conceived in our mind independent of our five senses [i.e., no idea is divinely inspired].”
—Albert Einstein —Quoted in W. Hermanns, A Talk with Einstein. AEA 55–285
• “What really interests me is whether God could have created the world any differently; in other words, whether the demand for logical simplicity leaves any freedom at all.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by Ernst Straus in Seelig, Helle Zeit, dunkle Zeit, 72
• “At present every coachman and every waiter argues about whether or not the relativity theory is correct.”
—Albert Einstein— To Marcel Grossmann, September 12, 1920. AEA 11–500
• “The solitude and peace of mind are serving me quite well, not the least of which is due to the excellent and truly enjoyable relationship with my cousin; its stability will be guaranteed by the avoidance of marriage.”
—Albert Einstein —To Michele Besso, February 12, 1915, CPAE, Vol.8, Doc 56
• “It is abhorrent to me when a fine intelligence is paired with an unsavory character.”
—Albert Einstein— To Jacob Laub, May 19,1909. AEA 15–480
• “I am not a Jew in the sense that I would demand the preservation of the Jewish or any other nationality as an end in itself. Rather, I see Jewish nationality as a fact and I believe that every Jew must draw the consequences from this fact
—Albert Einstein — In Jüdische Rundschau, June 21, 1921. CPAE Vol. 7, Doc. 57
• “To obtain an assured favorable response from people, it is better to offer them something for their stomachs instead of their brains.”
—Albert Einstein — To L. Manners, March 19,1954. AEA 60–401
• “Arrows of hate have been aimed at me too, but they have never hit me, because somehow they belonged to another world with which I have no connection whatsoever.”
—Albert Einstein —Quoted in Portraits & Self-Portraits, by George Schreiber 1935–1936. AEA 28–332.
• “In the past it never occurred to me that every casual remark of mine would be snatched up and recorded. Otherwise I would have crept further into my shell.”
—Albert Einstein — To Carl Seelig, October 25, 1953. AEA39–053
• “I do not like to state an opinion on a matter unless I know the precise facts.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in an interview, New York Times, August 12, 1945.
• “…I became more and more convinced that even nature could be understood as a relatively simple mathematical structure.”
—Albert Einstein —Quoted in The Tower, April 13, 1935
• “Of all the communities available to us, there is not one I would want to devote myself to except for the society of the true seekers, which has very few living members at any one time.”
—Albert Einstein — To Max and Hedwig Born, April 29, 1924. AEA 8–176
• “There have already been published by the bucketsful such brazen lies and utter fictions about me that I would long since have gone to my grave if I had allowed myself to pay attention to them.”
—Albert Einstein —To Max Brod, February 22, 1949. AEA 34–066.1
• “Berlin is the place to which I am most closely bound by human and scientific ties.”
—Albert Einstein — To K. Haenisch, September 8, 1920. AEA 36–022
• “Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being….”
—Albert Einstein — From “Why Socialism?” (1949). Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 153
• “Germany had the misfortune of becoming poisoned, first because of plenty, and then because of want.”
—Albert Einstein — Aphorism 1923. AEA 36–591
• “Only in mathematics and physics was I, through self-study, far beyond the school curriculum, and also with regard to philosophy as it was taught in the school curriculum.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted in Hoffmann, Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel, 20
• “The ordinary adult never gives a thought to space-time problems….I, on the contrary, developed so slowly that I did not begin to wonder about space and time until I was an adult. I then delved more deeply into the problem than any other adult or child would have done.”
—Albert Einstein — Quoted by James Franck in Seelig, Albert Einstein, (1954), 84
• “I have to apologize to you that I am still among the living. There will be a remedy for this, however.”
—Albert Einstein — To Tyfanny Williams, August 25, 1946. AEA 42–612
• “The Press, which is mostly controlled by vested interests, has an excessive influence on public opinion.”
—Albert Einstein — From “Some Notes on My American Impressions”. Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 6
• “Scientific research can reduce superstition by encouraging people to think and view things in terms of cause and effect.”
—Albert Einstein —To a Japanese scholar (1923). Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 262
• “It is really a puzzle what drives one to take one’s work so devilishly seriously….”
—Albert Einstein —To Joseph Scharl, December 27, 1949. AEA 34–207
• “O, Youth: Do you know that yours is not the first generation to yearn for a life full of beauty and freedom?”
—Albert Einstein —To I Stern, 1932. Reprinted in Dukas and Hoffmann ed. , Albert Einstein: The Human Side, (1979) 30. AEA 51–870