D O C . 1 7 5 N O V E M B E R 1 9 1 9 1 4 7
sequences shrivel up. Yesterday and the day before yesterday, there were two long
articles by philosophers in the Times that treat our relative perception in
For, in the first announcement after the big meeting of the 6th, it was asserted in the
Times that your theory destroyed Newton’s theory, & the world was no longer what
we are accustomed to seeing it as, & virtually the whole of Euclidean geometry
went to the devil, space was bent, etc., etc. This, naturally, wounded national feel-
ings & greatly alarmed the
If I can oblige you in any way, it should be
my pleasure & I remain yours sincerely,
A. F. Lindemann.
175. From Paul Ehrenfest
[Leyden,] 24 November 1919
Dear, dear Einstein,
I agonized over my answer to your
and my thanks for your photo-
graphs, which thrilled us enormously.
But now I know that I am not going to answer your letter. In reply, you must sim-
ply picture the children’s faces, for inst., to see for yourself how much they love

All the newspapers are full of translations of agitated articles from the Times
about the solar eclipse and your theory: “Einstein versus Newton! Natural Philos-
ophy Revolutionized,”
—and the startled newspaper ducks flutter up in a
hefty bout of quacking.
Even Galinka has been swept up by this flurry and quickly laid an artistic egg
that I am enclosing with this
In commentary:
In Africa an astronomer (thanks to Africa, the fantastic clothing—tiger skin?) is
looking up at the stars and the Sun (see how they are dangling about on the bent
light rays!). Why is he looking?—Because Einstein, “very far away (in Europe),
has calculated “in his house how it has to be.—You are tossing calculations out
of the window (“publication”?)—One calculation is floating in the air (that’s prob-
ably your 1905 theory?)—“All the world” is tremendously excited. A few people
are running to your house—but you say, “Oh, well—I know it—I did calculate
it.”—But they are all terribly excited. They are all running (to Africa?) to look
through the telescope as well—so hastily that they are tumbling over one another
(see picture—perhaps a symbol for
Even the little chicks in the
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