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ourselves your friends, are likewise enveloped in the stench and I fear we are not
going to be able simply to hold our noses as you intend. You can just slip away to
Holland, but we are stuck here in the land of Weyland, Lenard, Wien, and their
I am hurrying to write you in Holland because I would like to know the address
of Mr. Fokker. He sent me a fine paper in which he absolves me from a sin of my
youth; the address was also on the envelope, but since I was sick and in bed with
I could not pay attention to it and so my children destroyed the envelope.
I would so much like to thank Mr. Fokker; Ehrenfest will know where he lives.
Do also have Ehrenfest show you the transcription of a letter by
which I sent him, and think about how that poor person can be saved. Planck wrote
me he was very ready to help personally but thought nothing could be done offi-
cially in Berlin. Now I am negotiating with Hilbert to have him invite Boguslavsky
through the Wolfskehl Foundation.
I am glad that all is going so well for you in Holland. But you must not be an-
noyed with me if, after the last incidents, I doubt your knowledge of human nature
so strongly as not to share your admiration for
You see Lenard and Wien
as devils and Lorentz as an angel. Neither is quite accurate. The former suffer from
a political
that is widespread in our famished country and is not at all
based on innate malice. While I was in Göttingen just now, I saw Runge emaciated
to a skeleton and correspondingly embittered and
Only then did it be-
come clear to me what is happening around here. By contrast, Lorentz: he refused
to write something for Planck’s 60th birthday, you
I hold that very much
against him. You are welcome to tell him so. One can, of course, have a different
opinion from Planck, but his honest, noble character can only be doubted by those
lacking in such qualities. Lorentz evidently fears a loss of his contented Entente
friends more than he values justice. The fact that he lectures about my lattice cal-
culations in his course does not charm me. Besides, that is not the only thing I have
against him, but I am not writing just to complain; rather, I frankly confess that
when I know you are with Lorentz, Ehrenfest, Weiss, and
I find that
much more welcome than socializing with the author of Freibad der
You have probably also seen Mr.
there from Russia; ask him about
Mr. G.
who sent me a paper on adiabatic invariants that seems to me
excellent. He must be an outstanding theoretician; I never heard of him before.– My
wife sends her best
she is slaving away because our cook had to be re-
moved a few weeks ago for theft and deceit (in countless instances). Added to that,
I lay in a miserable state in bed until yesterday with asthma and had to be “nursed.”
The children are
With heartiest greetings, yours,
Max Born.
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