2 5 8 D O C U M E N T 1 3 1 S E P T E M B E R 1 9 2 0
131. From Arnold Sommerfeld
Munich, 3 September 1920
Dear Einstein,
Sheer rage is what I have been feeling, personally and as chairman of the Phys.
Soc., as I follow the Berlin stir against
A cautionary appeal to Wolf (Heidel-
berg) that he better keep his fingers out of it was superfluous. His name, as he has
meanwhile written you, had simply been
It is surely the same thing with
Lenard. A refined lot, these Weyland-Gehrcke
Today I consulted with Planck about what to do at the Scientific Society. We
want to give my colleague von Müller the cue to rebuff this “scientif.” demagogu-
ery sharply and to issue a declaration of trust in you. No official vote is supposed
to be taken on it, but it is to be presented merely as an outburst of scientif.
But you are not allowed to leave Germany! Your entire research is rooted in Ger-
man (+ Dutch) science; nowhere will you find as much comprehension as in Ger-
many. Abandoning Germ[any] now, when it is being so abominably abused from
every side, would not look like
Another thing: with your views, in France,
England, or America, you would certainly have been locked up during the war if
you had protested, as I do not doubt you would have, against the Entente and its
misinformation apparatus (comp. Jaurès, Russell, Caillaux,
That you, of all people, should seriously have to defend yourself against charges
of plagiarizing and evading criticism really is a mockery of all justice and reason.–
The Süddeutsche Monatshefte have requested an article by you and are very con-
cerned about your response. You can also leave it to me, if you prefer. But we must
have it as soon as possible because of the eventual reassignment. The Süddeutsche
is widely read and is a reputable organ; you can also comment there, on the side,
about the “bedbugs.” I have not read your statement in the Berliner Tageblatt, but
others have assessed it as not very felicitous and not quite like
The thing
about the bedbugs was good,
The B. T. actually does not seem to me to
be the right place to settle accounts with anti-Semite
It would please us
very much if you also did something in the Südd.
I hope you have in the meantime already refound your philosophical sense of hu-
mor, and pity for Germany whose sufferings are expressed, as everywhere, in po-
groms. But desertion is completely out!
Warmly, yours,
A. Sommerfeld.
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