6 8 D O C . 8 1 A U G U S T 1 9 1 9
goodwill, as long as one does not wave the red rag “politics” before his
As I said, I understand that bitterness, but it does have a slight tinge of the comical
to it, if not nearly as blatant as the manifesto itself with its manly defenders. When
a group of people is possessed with collective insanity, one should counteract it; but
hate and bitterness cannot consume great and perceptive persons in the long run,
unless they themselves are infected by it. One really ought to bear in mind that, on
average, the moral qualities of people do not differ very much at all from country
to country. But the trends of the time and the situation are also critical for the ac-
tions taken; hence the apparently great differences. Exclusion of German scholars
from social international scholarly exchanges for a number of
haps be a lesson in humility for them, which will not do much harm at all—and, it
is to be hoped, might even help. By no means is this matter of much significance.
But what seems to me important is that in Germany one learns to understand the
attitude of the “enemy” so that there is no room for the abhorrent idea of revenge,
from which, later, new grief could grow. Our modest aim is to work along these
I have often thought of Mr.
and am pleased that he is feeling well and
that he was allowed to witness the victory of justice. But it is a pity that now Nernst
cannot appear in Brussels anymore, for his French is irresistibly charming —you
probably still remember that (“sic transit gloria mundi” [thus passes away the glory
of this world]).
This short letter just serves to thank you heartily for having taken so much trou-
ble. As soon as I arrive in Berlin, I shall give a factual report after consultation with
the other members of our commission. With warm regards to you, your wife, and
the children and grandchildren, I am your devoted friend,
81. From Fritz Haber
Dahlem, Berlin, 4–6 Faraday Way, 1 August 1919
You would be doing me a great favor if you were willing to receive Cert. Eng.
Wildhagen and subject his doctoral thesis, which he carried out at my institute, to
your scrutiny. If I weren’t presently in a quandary of time constraints, I would
not risk this gross imposition on your friendship. Mr. Wildhagen brought me his
thesis just at the moment when I must travel to Switzerland, and unusual personal