A Sobering Reminder
A Letter from Albert Einstein to the Queen Mother of Belgium, January 1939
In this letter seeking the Queen Mother’s blessing to allow his cousin, a German Jew, to seek refuge in Belgium…
“…the moral decline we are compelled to witness and the suffering it engenders are so oppressive that one cannot ignore them even for a moment. No matter how deeply one immerses oneself in work, a haunting feeling of inescapable tragedy persists.
“Still, there are moments when one imagines one feels free from one’s own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments, one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable: life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny, only being.”
- From Einstein on Peace, edited by Otto Nathan and Heinz Noreen (1960), p. 282