D O C U M E N T 1 2 2 A U G U S T 1 9 2 0 2 5 1
if a noble, creative person is forced by jealousy and nasty reproaches to choose a
foreign state as his fatherland. A mighty wall of friends and pupils and admirers
stands around you; thus this struggle should give you new impetus for new cre-
ations whose proofs will turn the strident proclaimers into beaten, shamefaced
mutes. Keep for us your efforts and your pacifistic ideas. As undulating fields are
more fortuitous than the rattling of sabres and the glint of helmet spikes, thus also
your intellectual seed and harvest will endure longer and be more beneficial for the
German nation than the current effusions of minds clearly stuffed with scholarly
learning but hobbling along without the slightest trace of “Christian charity.” In
joyful pride we could then say: Einstein is a German. They could take tools and the
work of our hands away from us but not our minds.
Thousands agree with what I am writing and urge: stay with us; do not put a
whole nation to shame for the sake of a couple of sinners!
122. From Elsa Countess von Schweinitz und Krain
Bad Kissingen, Ölmühle Villa, 30 August 1920
To the founder of relativity theory!
I just read in the B[erliner]
about the outrageous personal attacks
This is Germany’s thanks, against the one person, who—now, when everything
is sinking down in the crassest materialism—gave us illuminating values for eter-
How pitifully small your opponent’s plebeian hatred must seem to you, who car-
ries the scale of infinity within himself!
I am familiar with the world and know: it forgives everything—save greatness—
itself unable to ascend to greatness—it wants to drag the great down to itself. In this
struggle lies the tragedy of genius.
But, believe me: in a few days, the baying of this pack will stop sounding . . .
Your truth, however, will remain: A solid rock to eternity!
Yet—no matter how much they try to take from you: the best in you will remain
far beyond reach:
That is, the memory of the hours in which knowledge of your truth was born of
your mind! For this truth is yours alone.–