1 7 0 D O C U M E N T S 2 7 , 2 8 M A Y 1 9 2 0
27. From Max von Laue
Zehlendorf, 17 Albertinen St., 22 May 1920
Dear Einstein,
As I am not going to be seeing you here before my Stockholm trip, and because
after my return the matter is easily forgotten, I would now like to write you about it.
A short while ago you said the way in which I presented the consistency of the defi-
nition of time synchronization, in my book (p. 51 of the third ed.), was not
Under the condition that light followed each path there and back in the
same time interval, it would be trivial. But this condition was supposedly not obvious.
I now had another look at the matter, particularly since I have to prepare the 4th
edition soon. My response is: On p. 51 I am speaking exclusively of frames of ref-
erence in which the propagation of light occurs at the same velocity in all direc-
tions, consequently also in the direction opposite to the same path. This appears
explicitly directly before the consideration in question, namely, on l. 3 from the top
on page 51. Therefore the consideration is acceptable. Now, you call it
That is a matter of intellectual ability; and you must excuse me if I do not consider
you as quite the norm in that. So I am thinking of leaving the relevant section as it
I hope to see you on 9 June at the
I have a couple of very minor
and perhaps very stupid questions about general relativity.
With warm regards, yours,
M. Laue.
28. From Carl H. Unthan[1]
Charlottenburg 9, 3 Linden Avenue, on Whitsunday, 23 May 1920
Esteemed Professor,
You will kindly pardon me if I must again take up your valuable time, with some
delay, owing to pressing and unpostponable obligations. For me one letter is no
cause for great effort; considering that in the last period I have been spending many
a day sitting at the typewriter for 12 to 14 hours and working through up to 36 folios
of translations in 5 languages.
I too have been a pacifist for a long while
No platonic relationship toward
pacifism satisfied me; I involved myself energetically in the polemics between Po-
pert, Otto Ernst, Siemering, etc., versus Fried, von Gerlach, von Ossietzki and the
rest of the scum, who cannot outdo themselves in fawning submissiveness and dis-
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