D O C U M E N T 8 8 M A R C H 1 9 2 1 7 1
The conflict between the liberty of your feelings and the obligations of your
actions is rooted in the times you have been living through in Germany and the
great work you wrought, and I deemed it my duty to lay it before you here in stead-
fast friendship. Yours,
Fritz Haber.
88. To Fritz Haber
[Berlin,] 9 March 1921
Dear friend Haber,
What happened concerning this America trip, which cannot be changed any-
more under any circumstances, is the following. A couple of weeks ago, when no
one was thinking of the political developments, a Zionist whom I value highly
came to me with a telegram from Prof. Weizmann, the content of which was that
the Zionist organization was inviting me to travel to America with a few German
and English Zionists to consult about the educational affairs of
I am
not needed for my abilities, of course, but only for my name. Its promotional power
is anticipated to bring considerable success thanks to our rich fellow clansmen of
Despite my declared international mentality, I do still always feel
obliged to speak up for my persecuted and morally oppressed fellow clansmen, as
far as it is within my
So I gladly accepted, without more than five min-
utes’ consideration, even though I had just declined all offers from American
So this involves an act of loyalty far more than one of
The prospect of establishing a Jewish university delights me especially, after
recently seeing from countless examples how perfidiously and unkindly fine young
Jews are being treated here in the attempt to deprive them of educational opportu-
nities. I could tell you about other incidents last year as well that would compel any
self-respecting Jew to take Jewish solidarity more seriously than had been neces-
sary or seemed natural in former times. Think of
and the celebrated [Bad] Nauheim
who only shook off
the fool
in the end for opportunistic reasons.
No reasonable person can accuse me of disloyalty toward my German
I declined many attractive calls to Switzerland, Holland, Norway, and
England, without even thinking of accepting any of
This I did, by the way,
not out of attachment to Germany but to my dear German friends, among whom
you are one of the most exceptional and well-intentioned. Any affinity for the polit-
ical structure of Germany would be unnatural for me as a
Now, how-
ever, there are considerations of tact that arise from the moment; at the present time
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