D O C . 5 7 J U N E 1 9 1 9 4 7
garden.[1]
But then it’s outrageous of you to take on so much. Do you want to make
life for yourself and your trusty students a plague and be an object of censure to
your colleagues? You intend even to keep commitments of writing papers—e.g.,
for
Sommerfeld??[2]
You’re going too far. If Shakespeare had lived under today’s
conditions, he probably would have preferred to modify his little saying “At lovers’
perjuries, They say, Jove
laughs,”[3]
which is really a little severe, to “At broken re-
view commitments, . . .” And then you tell me that, according to our friend Oppen-
heim, I was supposed to have found God knows what kind of fine
things.[4]
But
none of that is true. The modest insinuation I made to him about the matter, about
which I told you at the Grunewald Lake, has blown dangerously out of proportion
in his fertile imagination! Quantum theory kindles sentiments in me, very similar
to yours. One should actually be ashamed of the successes because they have been
won by the Jesuit axiom: “Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand
doeth.”[5]
I don’t view the political situation as pessimistically as you do. The conditions are
harsh but will never be carried through to
reality.[6]
They will serve to satisfy the
eye rather than the stomach of the “enemy.” Ludendorff was undoubtedly much
worse than the Parisians. The French act like that out of fear but Ludendorff has
Napoleonic
yearnings.[7]
The hardships from French mistakes will be mellowed by
a never-to-fail sloppiness, just as in my erstwhile fatherland
Austria.[8]
Ultimately,
the menace of Germany will dissipate like a puff of smoke together with the ene-
mies’ unity, whereby a certain hysteresis does prevail. Is a hardcore x-brother and
determinist allowed to say, teary-eyed, that he had lost faith in people? It is precise-
ly people’s impulsive behavior in political affairs today that is suited to making be-
lief in determinism very much alive. I am convinced that what the next few years
bring will be far less difficult than the experiences of past years.
With cordial greetings to you and your wife, also from my
wife,[9]
yours,
Einstein.
Haber’s application of your theory to monovalent metals is
amazing.[10]
57. From Leonhard Grebe
Bonn, 6 June 1919
Dear Professor,
Unfortunately, the political situation does not permit me and my collaborator to
come to Berlin, as we had intended, during the Pentecost
holidays.[1]
For now, I
must consequently forgo using the microphotometer constructed by
Freundlich.[2]
Our researches have meanwhile developed to the extent that a microphotometric
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