D O C S . 1 9 3 , 1 9 4 D E C E M B E R 1 9 1 9 1 6 5
193. To Neue Freie Presse (Vienna)
6 December 1920
[Not selected for translation.]
194. To Konrad Haenisch
[Berlin,] 6 December 1919
Highly esteemed
Minister,[1]
A day or so ago I received a report by the National Budget Committee of the
Constitutional Congress of the Prussian State, according to which it is planned that
150 000 marks from the National Treasury be placed at my disposal in support of
research in the area of the general theory of
relativity.[2]
However great my joy and
feeling of gratitude for this truly generous gesture, I nonetheless cannot withhold
painful reservations. In these times of extreme need, would such a resolution not
justifiably trigger bitter feelings among the public? I believe that we can promote
research effectively in the area of the general theory of relativity even without use
of special public funds, if the country’s observatories and astronomers would sim-
ply place a portion of their apparatus and labor at the service of this cause.
Hitherto Dr. E. Freundlich at the Astrophysical Institute in Potsdam was the only
German astronomer (aside from Schwarzschild) to advance the field. It would be
of great service to the cause if, in accordance with a proposal by Director Müller,
this astronomer were to receive an observer position very soon at the Potsdam in-
stitute with the objective of working on testing the general theory of
relativity.[3]
Finally, I would like to mention a minor but nonetheless urgent request that
regards my own working conditions and for which I earnestly petition immediate
resolution. By arrangement of the Housing Department of the town of Schöneberg,
a room in our building was granted to me to accommodate my terminally ill mother
and a nurse. The building owner objects and is making all sorts of misrepresenta-
tions to the authorities to postpone or obstruct handing over the room, so that I am,
as a matter of fact, in the predicament of having to make room in my study for the
ill person if the affair is not speedily decided in a favorable direction. A word by
the Ministry of Culture directly to the Rental Settlement Board of the town of
Schöneberg (Einstein-Eisfelder case) would bring to a prompt decision this matter
of such importance and urgency to me. I entreat you to forward the requested com-
munication directly to the authority
mentioned,[4]
since I am being deluged with
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