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The theory of relativity opened up for me a philosophical world of infinite
breadth. In my mind’s eye the constraints and boundaries of philosophical systems
collapsed, and, for now, my thoughts wander about in the new world (—that is what
it is to me) without a horizon in sight. Viewing relativity means to me the toppling
of the absolute and the rise of another epistemological world.
But I also saw the importance of your research for generations still to come. It
appears to me to be a treasure chest of new insights not just in theoretical science.
Perhaps there are many more among the lay who have had experiences similar
to mine, who feel with me pain and outrage that in the already so humiliated
Germany a major German personality be trampled in the dirt before the German
Allow me to express my utmost respect,
Ina Dickmann.
114. From Paul Ehrenfest
28 August 1920
Dear, dear Einstein!
There was a report today in our newspapers about the Weyland-Gehrcke
campaign and your
(in excerpt) [what a pity that you answered for yourself,
and not Planck, for
I am terribly depressed that you have been dragged
into the dirt.—Please, just spit upon all attacks. Unfortunately, Onnes is away (in
and I could not get hold of Lorentz yet. But I think I may assure you
that all of those who love you personally so very, very sincerely here would manage
to obtain for you, at least (to be safe) for 3 years, a full Dutch professor’s
remuneration (9,000, 2,000 + 7,000 guilders per year), in case you should still con-
tinue to be pestered in Berlin; provided only that then (without many more obliga-
tions) you would have to take up main residence in Holland and submit
publications to the Amsterd[am] Academy. You do understand that I can say that
right now on my own authority alone, because I know what Lorentz and Onnes and
all the others are prepared to do for you.
You must understand me correctly: I know how you definitely rejected leaving
Germany, defeated, a year ago, if only not to disappoint
And really (do
please believe me), it’s not that I might want to entice you away from Germany into
Holland, making use of the “auspicious moment.” But if they should sour your
work there, then count on it that we here will set every force in motion in order to
have you come over here!
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