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Einstein Cremated; Bequea Thed His Brain to Medical Research

April 20, 1955
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Strict privacy marked the cremation of Prof, Albert Einstein’s body at the Ewing Cemetery crematorium at West Trenton, in accordance with his wishes. No religious services were held. Present at the cremation were about a dozen scientists and close friends and his son, Dr. Hans Albert Einstein, professor of engineering at California Institute of Technology.

Prior to the cremation, Prof. Einstein’s brain and vital organs were removed for scientific study as decreed by the great scientist during his life. The brain was given to Dr. Harry Zimmerman, professor of pathology at Columbia University and director of laboratories at Montefiore Hospital in New York. Dr. Zimmerman said today he will begin examining Dr. Einstein’s brain within the next few days.

Princeton Hospital, where Prof. Einstein died, reported that death was caused by a ruptured aorta resulting from hardening of the arteries. Prof. Einstein suffered a good deal of pain in the last days of his life and required frequent sedatives. The scientist’s physician, Dr. Guy K. Dean, said that Prof. Einstein had been developing progressive hardening of the arteries and a gall bladder condition.


Dag Hammarskjold, Secretary General of the United Nations, today made the following statement at a press conference: “The 18th of April will be a date long to be remembered because of the death of Albert Einstein. He was not only one of the masters of modern physics, he was also a very great friend and supporter of this organization. He was a man of great ideals who believed in a world order not only for matter but for men as well. It is right and proper for this organization to mourn the loss of this friend.”

Similar statements were received today from Dr. Theodor Heuss, President of the West German Republic, Prime Minister Edgar Faure of France, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and many leading scientists from all parts of the world. Leading newspapers throughout the United States carried editorials today paying tribute to Einstein’s greatness as a scientist and humanitarian.

Israel Ambassador Abba Eban said: “Only a week ago, I conversed with him at Princeton. I heard him expound his views on the challenge of the atomic age and reassert his deep and enduring love for Israel. He told of his desire to address the conscience of the world on Israel’s Independence Day on the need to assure the preservation of our republic and avert unnecessary peril to its security. The tragedy and exaltation of Jewish history profoundly stirred him. In them he found a deep humanism which enriched his incomparable scientific talent. All Israel bows its head at the passing of a great man of science and a faithful Jew.”

The American Fund for Israel institutions said: “The scientific genius of Prof. Albert Einstein, unique in the history of the world, was paralleled by his magnificent humanitarian spirit. Since the founding of the American Fund (1941), he served as chairman of our American Advisory Board and we have been ever grateful for his profound inspiration. Prof. Einstein foresaw that the establishment and growth of the State of Israel would urgently require a firm foundation of educational and cultural institutions, many of which are supported by our organization.”

The Weizmann Institute of Science declared: “The Weizmann Institute will miss the help he gave as adviser of the Department of Mathematics and in many other ways, including the gift of invaluable scientific papers. He was a great scientist, a great Jew, a great humanist and above all a great citizen of the world.”

The American Technion Society, in a statement issued by J.W. Wunsch, its president, said: “We of the American Technion Society suffer a personal shock, for Prof. Einstein was one of our active sponsors and a beloved friend. We are proud that our Society is erecting the Albert Einstein Institute of Physics at Greater Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, on the slopes of historic Mount Carmel. This edifice will stand as another monument to the eminence of Prof. Einstein in the land that was ever close to his heart.”


Yeshiva University, which is now building its Albert Einstein College of Medicine, issued a statement saying: “With the passing of Dr. Albert Einstein, the world lost its greatest scientific mind; the human race one of its most ethical and inspiring personalities; the Jewish people one of its most loyal sons. His Jewish heritage, as he told us on many occasions, gave him his moral code of living and Jewish suffering strengthened his craving for human freedom and firm belief in the infinite worth of every individual. He was a great friend of Yeshiva University and derived great satisfaction that our College of Medicine will always bear his name.”

The American Committee of OSE and the World OSE Union, of which Prof. Einstein was honorary president, said in a statement: “Prof. Einstein’s association for thirty-two years with the OSE was, for its leadership and for the entire organization, a source of inspiration and a great privilege which he bestowed with graciousness and generosity. Of outstanding help to the OSE in its relief work for oppressed Jewish populations and especially in the rescue of European children from Nazi persecution were Professor Einstein’s constant encouragement and direct intervention with various authorities and organizations.”

Irving M. Engel, president of the American Jewish Committee, stated: “it is to the everlasting credit of American democracy that it welcomed Albert Einstein just as it has welcomed so many others fleeing persecution and tyranny. In so doing, America has vastly enriched itself through the diversity of contributions made by these individuals. With his towering scientific scope and creativity, Einstein combined a great simplicity, humility and sweetness of spirit. All men who aspire to a humane civilization must feel personally bereaved by his death.”

Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the American Jewish Congress, said: “Mankind has lost its finest son whose mind reached out to the ends of the universe but whose heart overflowed with concern for the peace of the world and the wellbeing not of humanity as an abstraction but of ordinary men and women everywhere. The Jewish people, particularly, will revere his memory for the pride with which he identified himself with his fellow-Jews, sharing their sufferings and anguish, lending support and encouragement to every creative and worthwhile Jewish enterprise and laboring with heart and soul for the restoration of Zion.”

Adolph Held, chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee, stated: “Prof. Einstein’s love for the human race, his devotion to the principles of democracy, his outspoken condemnation of totalitarianism and repression, will be as much his contribution to the future as were his theories that led to the atomic age. He was a determined lighter against all forms of religious and racial bigotry, long before he, himself, became a victim of Hitler’s persecution.”

Julian Freeman, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, declared: “The world has lost not only a great scientific genius–it has lost I great humanitarian. Albert Einstein’s outlook was always a universal one–as applicable to people as well as to his special realm of physics. He brought to every problem the complete independence of insight, thought and judgment which was the hallmark of his brilliance. His death is a severe loss to Jewry, to America, and to all mankind–a loss which a troubled world can ill afford.”

Philip Klutznick, B’nai B’rith president, said: “Einstein’s scientific discoveries and contributions to the advancement of man’s knowledge are legacies permanently marked out, but we, his privileged contemporaries, have been the immediate beneficiaries of his wisdom and courage in fighting for the rights and freedom of his co-religionists and mankind everywhere. Equally unforgettable will be the qualities that graced his Olympian personality–his profound humility and gentleness as a human being.”

Sen. Herbert H. Lehman said: “It was America’s historic gain that Dr. Einstein chose to come here and become an American citizen, but in the truest sense, he belonged to no nation but to all mankind. He was a great Jew, a great American, a great citizen of the world, His mind bestrided the universe in the special fields that were his great competence. He was one of the true giants of this age. We note his passing with regret, but his mark will remain upon the world as long as knowledge is treasured.”

Joseph Schlossberg, national chairman of the National Committee for Labor Palestine, of which Prof. Einstein was honorary chairman, said in a statement: “Prof. Einstein’s monumental scientific achievements are matched by his profound humanistic sympathies. As honorary chairman of our organization he was an ardent supporter of Israel and its pioneering labor movement, Histadrut. For over a quarter century he saw his social ideals being consummated to a great degree by the Histadrut in Israel.”

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