Why War?: Einstein’s question to Freud

Peace Circle in Pittsburgh in 2011 (© Flickr/Brian Donovan)

The scientist Albert Einstein is best know for solving some of the greatest mysteries of time and space – yet there was another question which plagued him throughout his life. In 1932 he was given a unique opportunity by the League of Nations to put the questions to an expert of his choice. Einstein chose the psychotherapist Sigmund Freud – and the monumental question he posed was “Why War?” The Freud-Einstein correspondence predates the establishment of formal “Peace studies”. So after decades of academic research, are we any closer to answering Einstein’s formidable question? In this documentary, two international experts offer their thoughts.

Produced and presented by Michele Ernsting

Broadcast in Euroquest 5 September 2003