1 2 0 D O C S . 1 4 2 , 1 4 3 O C T O B E R 1 9 1 9
142. To Moritz Schlick
[Berlin,] 17 October 1919
Dear Colleague,
I gratefully accept your and the faculty’s
invitation.[1]
When is the jubilee cele-
bration supposed to take place? What attracts me most is the prospect of being able
to chat in peace with you again sometime, especially considering that I can never
muster up any festive spirits. The events of this world in which we have been set
down are too ghastly to be able to abandon oneself to such a mood. Tomorrow I will
leave for a 2-week trip to Holland and have taken your Theory of Knowledge as my
only reading. This as proof of how much I enjoy reading it. Born is also very fond
of your
book.[2]
Forgive the brevity; I still have much to take care of for the trip. Accept my best
regards, yours,
Einstein.
Philosophers are already busily trying to squeeze the general theory of relativity
into the Kantian system. Have you seen the quite foolish dissertation by Sellien (a
pupil of
Riehl)?[3]
143. From Heinrich Zangger
[Zurich, after 17 October
1919][1]
Dear friend Einstein,
What you write about the epidemics in Russia is quite new to
me.[2]
—You do
overrate medicines, though. The essential issue is nutrition—they have burned lime
and tea products there too. You are probably wrong (out of pity or compassion); it
is sheer brutality—hatred against all who know anything. (An Einstein would have
long since been hanged as a mystic because for him light goes around corners.)
This hatred—a craving for power by oppressors who sacrifice all others for pow-
er (always knowing how to dodge any danger to themselves)—this is the tragedy
of our times, the tragedy of naked ideas coursing about the world with the ardor of
some fanatics, their sincerity capable of being abused by the most terrifying ele-
ments. You told me earlier, horror-struck, about the certainly true reports, saw the
horrendous end.—That is now coming.—Victor Henri was here 4
years;[3]
every
day I see people from the Ukraine who managed to escape 4 weeks ago; the brutal-
ity, the almost sadistic atrocities that color everything, reveals a total degeneration
as no time has ever seen.—Everything has disintegrated.
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