4 D O C S . 4 , 5 J A N U A R Y 1 9 1 9
4. From Theodor Vetter
[Zurich,] 28 January 1919
Yesterday you made a statement to Mr. Gattiker to the effect that supervision at
your lectures was not necessary; and through your personal intervention you
obliged the university official to leave his
I take the liberty of informing you that Mr. Gattiker acted strictly on the order of
the university president’s office and he must appear in the future, too, for supervi-
sion until the situation is under control. Any lecturer of the university or of the Fed.
Polytechnic (not teaching assistants) obviously has free access to your lectures;
whoever else wishes to participate must register according to the official directive
and pay the
Now the university cashier reports that many students have already demanded
their payments back because they cannot find a seat in the auditorium. This must
be avoided, for plenty of room is available, but it is taken up by people who are not
entitled to attend your lectures.—That is why the control is necessary, which inci-
dentally is in your very own interest. Surely, you do not wish to see before you a
constantly changing crowd of curious onlookers but, rather, a serious audience who
intends to follow your lectures consistently.
Allow me, therefore, to make the request that henceforth you kindly refrain from
interfering with the instructions of the president’s office.
With utmost respect,
The University President.
5. To Arnold Sommerfeld
[Zurich,] 5 February
Your friendly invitation pleased me very much. But this time you must kindly
grant forgiveness. I’ve almost had to preach my lungs and brains out here
so I have a proper craving for rest. Added to that, I actually don’t really have any-
thing new to present, just a rehash. So let me go my own quiet way. As a mitigating
circumstance I must add that my stay here has been delayed by 3 weeks anyway as
a consequence of the “heating vacation,” which lasted until January
With cordial greetings, yours,