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92. To Adolf Schmidt
[Berlin,] 17 August 1919
Highly esteemed Colleague,
On my return the day before yesterday from Switzerland, I found your k[in]d
lines of the 1st of th[is]
mo.[1]
Above all, I am very pleased to have you as a mind-
mate again—as many times before—in this matter as
well.[2]
As regards the appeal, I am not one of its originators. Because I am acquainted
with the very embittered tone among the knights of the plume in various countries,
I know only too well that such reconciliatory attempts presently would hold very
little promise of
success.[3]
I lent my signature only because it would have been far
worse to refuse it; but I was already convinced that we would not meet with any
noteworthy response.
I must frankly admit to you that a signature collection in the sense you mention
seems to me to have just as few prospects, partly because of the painful gaps that it
would reveal, and partly because of the rebuttal that would surely
follow.[4]
For
now, it should be of value, first of all, to foster individual international personal
contacts and thus quietly and slowly pave the way toward better relations. In the
same way, I consider it salutory to propagate knowledge about the grievious sins of
the German Army Command in Belgium and France, in order to clear the way for
a better understanding of others’ 〈psyche〉 state of mind. I am a member of a small
private commission that is currently preparing publications in this
area.[5]
For the
time being, I consider it most important to prevent the germination of the idea of
revenge, so that the present deplorable situation not be abetted by such brutal solu-
tions.
Cordial regards, yours truly,
A. E.
93. To Joseph Petzoldt
[Berlin,] Tuesday. [19 August
1919][1]
Dear Colleague,
After my return from a lengthy stay in Switzerland, I found your letter and make
haste to answer your
questions.[2]
As concerns the rotating disk, I absolutely cannot
agree with you. One must take into account that a rigid circular disk at rest would
have to snap when set into rotation, because of the Lorentz shortening of the tan-
gential fibers and the nonshortening of the radial ones. Similarly, a rigid disk in ro-
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