D O C U M E N T 2 0 9 N O V E M B E R 1 9 2 0 4 9 5
Der Stinktopf meines lieben Mosz. hat sich noch nicht entladen dank der Lang-
Schade dass ich ihn Dir nicht in Natura vorführen
kann; Du hast Sinn für so was. Frau Borns Crescendo ist schliesslich zu einem so
schauerlichen Fortissimo penetrante
dass ich sie mit ganz leiser Iro-
nie still legen musste. Denen thäte ein wenig laue holländische Luft gut.
Meinem wissenschaftlichen Lieblingsziel (Überbestimmung und Verschmel-
) komme ich nicht näher.
Sei mit Frau und Kindern herzlich gegrüsst von Deinem
Beste Grüsse an die beiden
ALS. [9 531].
For the proposal made upon Ehrenfest’s encouragement (Doc. 191) to Princeton University, see
Doc. 203. The same sum was requested from the University of Wisconsin at a personal meeting with
Albert G. Schmedeman, probably on 11 or 12 November 1920 (the dates proposed in Albert G.
Schmedeman to Einstein, 2 November 1920, in Calendar). In a letter to the Dean of the Graduate
School, Schmedeman reported on the meeting: “I am sorry that I could not make better terms with
him but as he seems to be sought after by so many institutions of learning he places great value on his
services (at least Frau Einstein does, as she is his business manager). I believe that Professor Einstein
is anxious to go to the United States, and intimated that Princeton was willing to pay him any price
he might name. This I have had partially verified by the American Commissioner in Berlin, who has
been negotiating in an indirect way with Einstein for Princeton. When Mrs. Einstein named the price
for the course of lectures at Wisconsin I told her that I had authority to offer Professor Einstein only
half of the amount, and that I doubted very much if the University could pay fifteen thousand dollars.
After a long discussion and, as she was not willing to modify the amount, I told Professor Einstein
that I would refer the matter to President Birge.” (Albert G. Schmedeman to Charles S. Slichter, 16
December 1920 (WMUW). The American Commissioner whom Schmedeman mentions may be
Hugo Lieber (see Doc. 204, note 1).
Einstein and Ehrenfest probably discussed the problem of a possible Hall effect for supercon-
ductors during the “Magnet-Woche” in early November in Leyden (see entry Nr. 5548, dated 2
November 1920, in Ehrenfest’s diary, NeLR, Ehrenfest Archive, Notebooks, ENB:1-26). For an ear-
lier reference to the problem, see also Doc. 76.
See Doc. 208, the cover letter to the invitation, Doc. 207.
Alexander Moszkowski’s book on Einstein (Moszkowski 1921) was in press.
In a letter to be read by Einstein “only”, Hedwig Born had argued that Moszkowski’s book
would cause damage to Einstein’s reputation and peace of mind, and had urged Einstein to withdraw
his consent to publish it (Doc. 166). In a recent seven-page letter to Elsa Einstein (18 November 1920
[65 850]), she criticized Elsa for allowing Moszkowski access to Einstein. According to Hedwig’s let-
ter, Elsa had in the meantime reproached her for writing to Einstein directly instead of to herself, and
had expressed compassion for Moszkowski because of his dire financial situation. In her reply, Hed-
wig wrote that Elsa was “very sensitive to flattery, which clouds your judgment” (“Da Sie Schmei-
cheleien äußerst zugänglich sind, trübt sich Ihr Urteil”), that she was the source of much advertising
of Einstein, and that she had failed to distinguish between Max Born’s book (Born 1920a) on relativ-
ity and Moszkowski’s intended book (“So for you it is the same whether an ill reputed literary man
writes something, or a professional colleague” [“Für Sie ist es also eins, ob ein übelbeleumdeter Lite-
rat etwas schreibt, oder ein Fachkollege.”]) Hedwig further expressed that Elsa had become a “meg-
alomaniac” (“großenwahnsinnig”) after Einstein’s rise to fame.
For an earlier reference to Einstein’s attempt at unifying gravitation and electromagnetism
through overdetermination, see Einstein to Ehrenfest, 7 April 1920 (Vol. 9, Doc. 371).
“Malchik” is Russian for “little boy.”