6 0 D O C . 7 3 J U L Y 1 9 1 9
Moszkowski had an unexpected eye operation; he’s apparently doing quite
well.[7]
Still strikes; no trains have been running for 11
days.[8]
Imagine the situa-
tion. I hope it’s true that you are feeling
well.[9]
Kisses,
Your Wife.
73. From Max Planck
Grunewald, 20 July 1919
Dear Colleague,
If I am barging in on your restful vacation (which I hope it really is) with a letter
from restless Berlin, please don’t be alarmed; you do not even have to answer it. I
just must inform you, to relieve my conscience, that I performed an official act in
your name without being authorized by you to do so, for which I beg your approval
after the fact. This is what happened. The whiner Freundlich needed money, and
fast; first of all, 300 marks for his microphotometer, and then second, a cost-of-
living bonus to his salary. He sent his application to the chairman of the Advisory
Board, Mr. von
Siemens.[1]
The latter declared, however, that he could not release
the money since that was the business of the directorate. Otherwise, he was in full
agreement in advance. So I then temporarily assumed responsibility in the name of
the Directorate and arranged for the disbursement of 300 marks for the instrument
and another 300 marks for the cost-of-living
bonus[2]
(I hope the cashier pays it out,
too) and ask you please to approve the matter retroactively only upon your return.[3]
I am writing you today for another reason, one that is much graver and much
more important. A rumor is making the rounds here (whether there is anything to
it, I do not know) that they are currently making serious efforts again to keep you
in Zurich permanently.[4] You can imagine how I feel about that. Yet I retain the
belief that you will not commit yourself before having canvassed your friends here.
Ultimately, each is master of his own destiny, of course, and far be it from me to
want to exert any self-serving pressure on you. I do want to emphasize one thing,
though, because it may be relevant to the consideration: this matter of such
importance to our Academy and to the whole of German science must not be
measured against economic issues; or in other words: the Academy or the state
must and will make available to you the funds you need in order to live here,
provided you wish it.[5] And what I would like to ask of you is only this: that you
let me know if difficulties along this line should develop.
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