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117. From Paul Oppenheim
Frankfurt-am-M[ain], 1 October 1919
My esteemed Professor,
Now I am rewarded for my awkwardness by even a second long, kind letter! My
sincere delight about the result of the solar-eclipse expedition is greater still than
my self-reproach for having thus taken up your valuable time again. In the face of
this gratification, the disappointment almost vanishes that the Germans were not
the ones to find this
I congratulate you with all my heart and am so
pleased to have learned about this dramatically awaited, breath-taking result direct-
ly in this way.
How tragic that, against such exalted feelings, your letter brings profoundly
serious news about your
You know and must hear again that in this I
sympathize with you as well.
Without the least hesitation nor the least action by you, your lines led me to re-
quest applying [one] 1000.– marks as follows:
Either, bestowal on Landau in my name, provided that substantially lower con-
tributions come in, and the sum, provided it suffice, as meets expectations
for my social position, does not elicit criticism;
Or, if doubts along the latter lines, bestowal on Landau under
genuinely anonymous;
Or, if the sum is too small even for that, its use toward some scientific or chari-
table cause that appeals to
You will, I hope, approve of this solution and kindly safeguard my social inter-
ests.– From Prof. Born I heard that you may be coming to
That is a
splendid prospect, and I too can hardly wait for it. Please do inform me in time so
that I could make sure to be here, too, if possible!
Yesterday Freundlich, whose visit we very much appreciated, left
brought with him something of that atmosphere that formed a bright spot in the
gloomy Berlin days and delighted us with his high breeding. It was exactly in com-
parison with him that I again felt with alarm the danger of going stale here if I do
not succeed in finding for my next scientific research topic, classification of the sci-
ences, that companion in intellectual marriage who, with a thorough understanding
of mathematical logic and general philosophy, possesses the requisite gift of assim-
ilation of my ideas so as to complete practically and refine critically the work con-
ceived in
Even then, it will certainly be difficult to find the necessary
concentration; elementary worries about security and fortune weigh down—even
when they are taken as I take them, more lightly than the average fellow creature—
on the brain centers where ideas find their origin.
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