1 2 V O L U M E 8 , D O C U M E N T 3 4 a
Despite being in Berlin, I am living in tolerable solitude. But here I have some-
thing that makes for a warmer life, namely, a woman whom I feel closely attached
to, namely a cousin of roughly the same age. She was the main reason for my go-
ing to Berlin, you know.
Surely I told you so already at the time.
At the academy things vary, sometimes boring, sometimes highly interesting.
People there are highly heterogeneous; everyone is one of its kind. Everything I
used to think about Berlin people has vanished into thin air. One could think, no
doubt influenced by political sentiments, that they are conceited imperialistic Ber-
liners, who want to gobble up the world, know it all, etc. Such do exist, along with
others, as everywhere. Only in matters open to change do local traits emerge: duti-
fulness, an almost mind-numbing need to follow the herd, authoritarianism, lack of
taste, respect for acknowledged achievements.
My work is moving within a rather modest scope. Just now I’m writing about
quantum theory and Nernst’s theorem. There is still very much left of value in the
latter, although it cannot be generally valid. The man struck lucky; he’s mad at me
because I’m not a silent
The theory of gravitation encounters as
much respect as it does
Lorentz offered a detailed lecture on
solar eclipse is being received by the astronomers with good weapons. I am abso-
lutely convinced of the correctness of my theory. I haven’t worked on it here yet,
though I’ve recovered physically to do so, mainly through the solicitude of my
I was quite seriously worn out!
I’m happy that you have been able to resume your work again. If I can, I’ll come
to visit you in the summer. A bit of Berlin, as I have it, would do you good as well:
no obligations and worries! I didn’t understand your insinuation about
He is—as far as I can judge, a good sort of fellow. He had a kind of relationship
with my wife, which can’t be held against either of them. It only made me feel my
sense of isolation doubly painfully: I am all the more grateful now that fate has
granted me the affection of a good woman after all.
Don’t be angry at me anymore, but write me in comfort during a genuinely lei-
surely spare time, yours,
Best regards to Heller!
Vol. 8, 34a. To Heinrich Zangger
[Berlin,] 24 August 1914
Dear friend Zangger,
My deepest condolences on the heavy loss you suffered. I knew your dear moth-
er as an excellent
I saw many a tear in her eye when you were so sick