9 6 D O C . 1 1 1 S E P T E M B E R 1 9 1 9
111. From Paul Oppenheim
Frankfurt-am-M[ain], 46 Guiollett Street, 25 September 1919
My esteemed, dear Professor,
The answer to your n[ice] lines unfortunately comes with ample delay. (At least
something is “ample” about this reply.) Yet in reviewing what I am just about to
say, I should have followed the maxim “he gives twice who gives
quickly.”[1]
The
cause of my silence lies in a visit by my Viennese relatives von
Kuffner,[2]
which
brought with it multiple absences from Frankfurt & consultations about vital fam-
ily matters. That is how it came about that neither my
father[3]
nor I were present
at the meeting concerning the same affair; even before the arrival of your letter, we
had to cancel an invitation in this
connection.[4]
Every other call for donations
would—confidentially and frankly speaking—have encountered the same fate with
us. But you, I cannot & will not refuse anything. If I contribute a sm[all] sum, this
happens only out of fondness for
you.[5]
The greater is my pleasure at proving this
to you. I admit, according to my conception of idealism & ethical negation, which
I have often discussed with you, this fondness toward you expresses itself the more
purely, the less the cause itself interests me. And here I really must say: we Jews
unfortunately do have other concerns right now; I call to mind the anti-pogrom
struggle. It may be that my father & I are somewhat biased here: this branch of
knowledge captivates us but
little.[6]
It is almost tasteless that I say this after you
have so deftly anticipated it. But feelings are there or not, nonetheless they pay no
attention to taste. The latter should be taken into account all the same, as I seek to
find the amount that symbolizes the optimal balance between the conflicting for-
ces. Perhaps you would be so good as to have someone write me briefly about the
lowest limit at which the subscriptions begin; a few attached names, preferably
from Frankfurt, would facilitate the decision. But please let the letter to me (your
d[ear] wife will surely relieve you of this) contain only what you can effortlessly
gather by telephone.
Please do not take offense at my sluggishness! Our relations would, I hope, sur-
vive even heavier tests of endurance!
Cordial greetings all around from both of us. Ever yours truly,
Oppenheim.
How is your mother?
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