What was Albert Einstein’s greatest regret?
“If I had known that the Germans would not succeed in constructing an atom bomb, I never would have moved a finger,” Einstein said.
Einstein hate Hitler
Einstein, arguably the greatest scientist of all time was born in a Jewish family in Germany. During Hitler’s rule in Germany, Jews were persecuted. The persecution lasts for years killing around 6 million. In 1933, Einstein Left Germany for the United States and never returned. He settled there as an American citizen. He was already a celebrity by then. He already has a Nobel Prize in his name.
In 1938, three chemists in Berlin made a Breakthrough discovery: They discovered how to split the uranium atom. The energy released during splitting is tremendous- enough to power a bomb. Belgian Congo was the largest source of Uranium at the time. Germany occupied the Belgian Congo and began to keep the uranium for themselves.
This led to suspicion of American scientists that Germans could be building an atomic bomb. In 1939, Einstein along with other scientists wrote a letter to US president Franklin Roosevelt to warn him that Nazis were working on building an atomic bomb. When Franklin Roosevelt received the letter, he launched the Manhattan project to build the atom bomb.
And they succeeded. They first tested on July 16, 1945, in New Mexico. They developed two bombs- “The Fat Man” and “The Little Boy.” On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
On hearing the news, Einstein said, “Woe is me.” Three days later, it just got worse. They dropped the second bomb on the city of Nagasaki. The bombings killed around 200,000 people.
After the war, when it was shown that Germany had made no real progress toward an atomic bomb, Einstein said, “Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb, I never would have moved a finger.”
That is Albert Einstein’s greatest regret.