Einstein on himself

Texts by Dr. Antonio Moreno González

Einstein , aged 22, was described as follows in his Swiss military book, where he was declared unfit for military service:

Height: 171,5 cm
Breadth of chest: 87 cm
Arm: 28 cm
Illnesses or handicaps: varicose veins,
flat feet, and excessive perspiration of feet.


Of what significance is one's existence, one is basically unaware and it should certainly not concern our neighbour. What does a fish know about the water in which he swims all his life?

The bitter and the sweet come from outside. The hard from within, from one's own efforts. For the most part I do what my own nature drives me to do. It is embarrassing to earn such respect and love for it. Arrows of hate have been shot at me too; but they never hit me, because somehow they belonged to another world, with which I have no connection whatsoever.

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

On his everyday life (in answer to a reporter from ABC during his stay in Spain in 1923):

Well then; I shall satisfy your curiosity. My life is very irregular. Sometimes, when I am concerned with a problem, I do not work for days on end; I go for walks, I pace up and down at home, I smoke, I dream and I think. On the contrary, there are weeks when I don't stop working. But, in general, I go to bed at eleven and get up at eight. As you see, my body and my brain need a long repairing sleep. I rarely go out at night; social life irritates me.

Disillusionment at the mistrust and persecution suffered by some scientists in the United States in the 1950s, Einstein among them:

If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances.

To Elisabeth Ley, Stuttgart

September 30, 1920

Dear Miss Ley,

Elsa tells me that you are unhappy because you didn't get to see your Uncle Einstein. Therefore I will tell you what I look like: pale face, long hair, and a modest paunch. In addition, an awkward gait, a cigar--if I happen to have one--in the mouth, and a pen in the pocket or hand. But this uncle doesn't have bowed legs or warts, and is therefore quite handsome; and neither does he have hair on his hands, as ugly men often do. So indeed it is a pity that you didn't get to see me.

With warm greetings from your Uncle Einstein 

This is how he saw himself throughout his life

"The physicists say that I am a mathematician, and the mathematicians say that I am a physicist.

I am a completely isolated man and though everybody knows me, there are very few people who really know me."



Greetings by a child on Einstein's 70th birthday


"When I walk through the lonely park of Princeton, I feel close to heaven"