8 6 D O C . 1 0 3 S E P T E M B E R 1 9 1 9
from other sections, many of whom are worth keeping up with in Zurich. This is
naturally a powerful way for a foreigner who has not yet acclimatized himself to
feel at home in Switzerland; and thus I come to the conclusion that the trip to Luga-
no was actually quite worthwhile.
I received a long letter yesterday from Ehrenfest: he received a call from the new
Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kiev and is, in principle, not disinclined to ac-
cept the same. However, he thinks that he would be more useful as an external
member residing in Leyden with the task of advising young Russians who are
studying abroad and, in general, acting as a link between Russian and Western Eu-
ropean science. Besides, there is no question of his settling in Russia before the
conditions there have consolidated completely.
In begging your pardon for the inconvenience caused by my letter, I remain in
sincere admiration, yours very truly,
Paul Epstein.
103. To Paul Ehrenfest
[Berlin,] 12 September 1919
Dear Ehrenfest,
Your proposal is so fabulous and your words are so warm and friendly that you
will hardly grasp how your letter has set my mind
awhirl.[1]
You certainly know
how charmed I am with Leyden! And you know how fond I am of you all. But
things are not so simple for me that I can just follow my heart’s impulse to do what
is right. I am sending you a letter that Planck sent to me in
Zurich.[2]
I consequently
promised him I won’t turn my back on Berlin unless conditions arise that would
make such a step seem natural and
proper.[3]
You can scarcely imagine what sacri-
fices are being made here in the difficult financial situation overall to make it pos-
sible for me to stay, and to maintain my family in
Zurich![4]
It would be doubly re-
pulsive of me if, just at the moment when my political hopes are being realized, I
turned my back, without good reason, perhaps in part for the sake of material ad-
vantage, on people who have shown me affection and friendship and to whom my
leaving at this so-called dishonorable time would be doubly painful. You cannot
imagine how much warmheartedness surrounds me here; and this not only from
those who lap up the droplets I sweat from my brainy
brow.[5]
So you see where I stand. I can go away from here only if there is a turn of events
that make it impossible for me to continue to stay. Such a change could occur. If it
Previous Page Next Page