2 5 0 D O C U M E N T 1 2 1 A U G U S T 1 9 2 0
so my feeble voice will count little. However, I would not like to refrain
from telling you, nonetheless, how hard it would be for me, too, if your genius and
your fine personality, which I personally was allowed the opportunity of becoming
more closely acquainted with at the
were lost to Germany and partic-
ularly to Berlin physicists; and I think I may say that the majority of my colleagues
at the Reichsanstalt also feel likewise and regret very much that one colleague has
let himself be carried away into
if only quite unofficially, such ludicrous
measures against you.
In sincere admiration, most devotedly yours,
Walther Meißner.
121. From Toni Schrodt
Steglitz, Berlin, 54 Mommsen St. I, 30 August 1920
Esteemed Professor,
I have been following the notices published about you and your research in the
papers and now also read the reports on the
I am neither a scholarly man
nor a scholarly woman, but only a working girl from the middle class; but besides
the compulsion to work for a living, there is within me a vital need for knowledge,
for light. Obviously, I cannot penetrate your teachings and I lack the education for
complete comprehension, but this much I do feel and grasp, that you sought and
constructed something that will not pass away and that should fill the nation with
pride and gratitude. This it surely does, for those who are now attempting to pull
down your status [at] the public rostrum, with more—or less—pleasant sounding
[words], are but a tiny fraction of the population, and in moral respects not among
the most dignified, despite far superior academic learning. They weave no laurels
for themselves and eclipse nothing of the image of you that has formed in our
Now you want to leave
which precisely now, in the bleak situation
it is in, needs a point from which it can draw energy and new hope and strengthen
its self-confidence. One great person ennobles his entire surroundings, and from
the glamor and renown that radiates from your name into all the lands, thousands
of your humble fellow men are nourished. Please stay in Germany! Don’t just listen
to the slanderous yapping of a few dozen, but also feel the gratitude and admiration
of all those who, even though not privileged to be taught by you and to take in the
science in its full greatness, certainly do sense that they will be overtaken by shame
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