D O C U M E N T 1 6 6 O C T O B E R 1 9 2 0 2 8 3
“pen pusher” will rise and draw a very bad picture of you for his readers. Thereafter
you will be quoted everywhere, your own jokes will be smirkingly flung back at
you as proof that they know the book. Couplets about you will be written, an en-
tirely new, awful smear campaign will be let loose, not just in Germany, no, every-
where, and your revulsion of it will choke you.
And we, your good friends, how should we defend you then? “I beg your par-
don—Mr. Einstein, your ‘humble’ friend—gave the permission himself, you
know.” Then it would be no use [for us] anymore to protest that you gave permis-
sion out of weakness, out of good nature. No one will believe that (my father, who
studied with Moszkowski and has told me many things about him, also tells me
The fact will then simply remain, that a man, still in his early forties, thus
early in his life, gave permission to one of the most despicable German writers to
record his conversations.—If I did not know you, I would not concede to a single
other living soul, to whom the above fact applied, innocence. I would definitely be-
lieve it was vanity. For everyone, except for about 4–5 friends of yours, this book
would constitute your moral death sentence. Additionally, it would be the best con-
firmation of the accusations of publicity for
We friends are profoundly alarmed by this prospect. The book—should it appear
anywhere—will be the grave of your tranquillity anywhere and for good.
Now I also see very clearly why Moszk. always imposed himself upon you. He
caught wind of the goldmine. For every one mark spent on each egg that he thrust
upon you during your
what a well-invested speculation: for each m[ark],
he now earns a thousand.
If Moszk. had even only a trace of real heartfelt interest in you, he would be the
first—especially after the recent
—voluntarily to forgo publication
of the book. That he does not do so—even at the request of friends (Freundlich–
—gives you the right to be hard.
Please reassure us directly about this worry of ours, which pursues us day and
night. Max just wrote me today: “An express letter by Freundlich just came in with
Moszkowski’s reply, which is negative, of course, and reveals a vain old donkey. I
don’t know what I should do yet. I would so much like to discuss it with you; I am
so worried every day.”
Please, dear friend, quickly dispel our worries and don’t rebuff advice and pleas.
I am never going to tell anyone about this whole story, for I have heard more than
enough about how abhorrent it is to you when women meddle into your
“Women are only there to cook [Kochen], of course,” but sometimes they can boil
over [überkochen] as well.
Hedi Born.
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