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
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
The trip proceeded without any impediments. Mr. S. was pleasant but has, with
the exception of some political routine, nothing in his
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
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
Yesterday I visited Planck, without being able to hold back my tears at the sight of
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
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
They write that they would like to translate your
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