D O C . 1 8 5 D E C E M B E R 1 9 1 9 1 5 7
know that those days of heated rooms and sumptuous feasting were not a mere
friendly gesture but a mighty feat, even a heroic act of self-denial. For now you are
sitting by the only heat-emitting stove, and the lady of the house is keeping a watch-
ful eye on the bread for the next few days, and the flour is acrid, not satisfying even
to the
mouse.[2]
Those days that I was allowed to spend with you were fine, scarcely
affected by the pompous excesses of the alma mater and the rhetorical feats of her
sons.[3]
The trip proceeded without any impediments. Mr. S. was pleasant but has, with
the exception of some political routine, nothing in his
head.[4]
Even so, he may have
been right that a consequence of this celebration will be that Rostock professors
will be kept on smaller rations. He is convinced that a conservative majority isn’t
possible anymore—if anything, only a growing conservative minority.
Over here I found everything orderly, made my way home from the train station
with effort but also with some luck, and found a number of hefty manuscripts wait-
ing for me there to
review[5]
and such a lot of other duties that I cannot be com-
pletely envied. Yesterday evening I attended a discussion by experts on the eco-
nomic situation, at which a gradual but inevitable total collapse of the economy was
prophesied. Any difference from Austria was purportedly only temporal. I am
merely reporting what they said; I myself do not have the requisite overview for
making prophecies, the others probably neither. Nonetheless, they all shared the
same pessimism. The tone was: a year ago one really could have done this or that,
but as to now, . . .
With cordial thanks to you and your kind and solicitous wife, and greetings to
your little
ones,[6]
yours,
Einstein.
Yesterday I visited Planck, without being able to hold back my tears at the sight of
him.[7]
He was in command of himself and composed—a truly great and excep-
tional person. I read with amazement Stumpf’s article on the psychophysically
mixed causal
chain.[8]
I will espouse his view when it is shown that one can change
one’s weight by sheer willpower!
185. From Willem de Sitter
Arosa, Wald Sanatorium, 1 December 1919
Dear Einstein,
The firm Methuen & Co., 36 Essex Street, London W.C. 2, wrote me to act as
mediator between you and
them.[1]
They write that they would like to translate your
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