10
ETH
ENTRANCE EXAMINATION
mich
von
selbst
versteht,
noch ziemlich naiv und unvollkommen. Wenn Du
das
Zeug gar
nicht
liest,
nehme
ich
Dirs durchaus
nicht
übel;
Du mußt
es
aber doch
zum
mindesten
als
einen schüchternen Versuch
anerkennen, die
von
meinen beiden lieben Eltern
geerbte
Schreibfaulheit
zu bekämpfen.---
Wie
Du schon
wissen
wirst
soll ich
jetzt
auf
das
Polytechnikum
nach Zürich
kommen. Die Sache stößt aber auf bedeutende
Schwierigkeiten,
da
ich
dazu
eigentlich
zwei
Jahre mindestens älter
sein sollte.[3]
Im nächsten Brief schrei-
ben
wir
Dir,
was aus
der Sache
wird.
Innige
Grüße der
lieben Tante und Deinen
herzigen
Kinderchens[4]
von
Deinem
Albert.
ALS
(Mme.
Suzanne
Koch,
Brussels).
Einstein
added
"1894
oder
95.
A.
Einstein
(Datum
1950
nachgeholt)"
at
the
top
of the letter.
[1] Dated
by
the
reference to
Einstein's
first
attempt
to enter
the ETH
(see
the
following
letter).
[2] The
preceding
document.
[3] ETH
regulations
specified
eighteen as
the
admission
age,
but allowed
for
exceptions.
See
the
following
editorial
note.
[4]
Koch's
wife
Mathilde
(1868-1927)
and
children Paul
(b. 1890),
Suzanne
(b. 1892),
and
Raymond (1893-1930).
ETH
ENTRANCE EXAMINATION
AND
AARGAU KANTONSSCHULE
Einstein arrived
in
Zurich from
Italy
in
the
fall
of
1895, seeking
to
enroll in the
engineering
section of
the ETH.[1] He lacked
a
secondary-school leaving
certificate
(Maturitätszeugnis)
and
was
two
years
under the
regular
admission
age
of
eighteen.[2]
With the aid of Gustav Maier,
a family
friend,
he
received
permission
from ETH
Director Albin
Herzog (1852-1909) to
take the
entrance
examination
required
of
applicants
without the
certificate.[3]
The
examination, which
began
on 8
October,[4]
consisted of
two
parts:
one
testing
general knowledge,
the other
testing
specialized
scientific
knowledge.[5]
The
general
[1]
See
Einstein
1955,
p.
145.
See also MWE,
this volume,
pp.
lxiv-lxv.
[2] Article
1
of
the
ETH
Regulativ
1881 lists
the
entrance
requirements.
[3] See
Doc.
7.
ETH
Regulativ
1881
provides
for
exceptions to
the
age
and
credential
re-
quirements. A
certificate from
his
Munich
Gymnasium
mathematics teacher
praising
his
"mathematical
knowledge
and abilities" and
recommending
him for
matriculation
at
a
university may
have
been
helpful
in
getting
permission
for him
to
take the
entrance
ex-
amination
(see
Kayser
1930,
pp. 42-43).
[4] See
ETH
Programm
1895b, p. [3].
The
re-
sults
were
announced
on 14
October
(ibid.).
[5] See
ETH
Regulativ
1881,
articles
4
and
12.
The
Examination Commission consisted
of
the
president
and
at
least
one
other member
of the Federal School
Council,
the director
and the division heads
of
the
ETH,
and
a
group
of
faculty
examiners chosen
by
the
School Council
(ibid.,
article
7).
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