1 0 8 V O L U M E 8 , D O C U M E N T S 5 8 8 c , 6 0 7 a
Vol. 8, 588c. From Eduard Einstein
[Zurich, ca. 17 July 1918]
Dear Papa,
How are you? I hope very well. Thank you very much for the book, which made
me very
It’s my birthday on the 28th of July, I’m looking forward to it very
I’m feeling well. Now we are on
I send you many greetings, yours,
Vol. 8, 607a. From Michele Besso
Zurich, 28 August 1918
Dear Albert,
I just received your letter of the 20th, which was not in transit as long as my last
one, but long enough as it
I’d also still like to discuss your suggestion for Zu-
rich with our friends
—This isn’t an embarrassment of riches in Heine’s
but, as courteous as the people here are, it’s rather home-baked loaf being
proffered against fancy cakes, on the one hand, and a very fine sphere of intellectual
life, on the other, which expects enormously much of you and is offering itself to
you now, after a number of options that will perhaps soon be exhausted. There
wouldn’t be a lack of piety toward your Berlin friends attached to it, if I understand
it correctly, which would reflect the exceedingly obliging conduct on the part of his
But don’t rack your brains over this anymore right now:
The worst thing is that I can’t see from your letter when you are coming. (My
time here is soon coming to an end already. Am I going to be able to see you at

You will surely best be able to make your final decision here with a completely
fresh mind.
I’m beginning to get a scare now, after
If it’s really possible to show that
the energy law is no longer capable of plausible formulation once the gravitation
equations become fourth order, then this seems to me to be a very weighty argu-
ment against the theory of contact action driven to its
You had, by the
way, overestimated the meaningfulness of my observations again: I was not aware
that they had the meaning that an energy tensor for gravitation was dispensable. If
I understand it correctly, my inadvertent statement now implies that planetary mo-
tion would satisfy conservation laws just by chance, as it were. What is certain is
that I was not aware of this consequence of my comments and cannot grasp the ar-
gument even now.
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