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By Anne E. Schraff

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But he did agree to enter Princeton Hospital for a few days. 56 Einstein Book 9/18/07 3:47 PM Page 57 Albert Einstein referred to death as “the old debt” which all people must pay. He felt his time to pay the debt was close, but he did not want to stay in the hospital. When his son, Hans, came from California, Einstein assured him he was feeling better. Even while he lay in his hospital bed, Einstein asked that his latest pages of mathematical equations be brought to him so he might add something.

He still missed Elsa, his wife. He worried about the health of his beloved stepdaughter, Margot. Albert Einstein worried about what he saw as moral decay in society. He loved science, but he believed that the struggle for justice and truth was more important than anything else. He said that people can find meaning in life only by promoting good in society. In his old age, Einstein enjoyed the company of his wire-haired terrier, Chico, and young people. Children often joined him on walks, peppering him with questions.

He also spent pleasant hours with Elsa and her daughters. Like Einstein, Elsa was also divorced. She scolded Albert for not taking better care of himself. He seemed much too thin. 33 Einstein Book 9/18/07 3:46 PM Page 34 Unlike Mileva, Elsa was not a brilliant woman. She was simple, kind, and down to earth. Little by little, she became an important part of Albert Einstein’s life. But another dark cloud was looming over the life of Einstein and all of Europe. In 1914 it appeared that the world would soon be going to war.

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