3 1 0 D O C U M E N T S 2 0 1 , 2 0 2 N O V E M B E R 1 9 2 0
201. To Vilhelm Bjerknes
Berlin, 12 November 1920
Dear Colleague,
Cordial thanks for the transmittal summarizing your father’s life’s
for your friendly
I must admit that I am no longer an adherent of
mechanical analogies to explain action-at-a-distance, for the reason that the electro-
magnetic field has turned out to be more fundamental than ponderable
the formal analogies are primarily geometrically determined, such as,
e.g., the analogy between Newton’s law and the photometric distance law for a
point-shaped light source. Also, the fact that energy can be described mostly as a
homogeneous quadratic function certainly plays an essential role in
As far as the possible call to Christiania is concerned, it is more natural if you as
a Norwegian received the appointment. That is what the colleagues in Christiania
are also thinking, and are right. I personally believe I can and should stick it out in
Berlin, even if it isn’t always very easy. In the end, a piece of one’s own life’s pur-
pose is left behind in each place that one leaves after a longer stay. Let’s hope,
that independently of this we shall soon have occasion to converse with
each other about the physical problems of mutual interest to
With best regards, yours,
A. Einstein.
202. From Jolán Kelen-Fried
Vienna XVII, 33 Jörger St. III. 20. c/o Göde, 12 November 1920
Esteemed Master,
Your warm words of Nov. 8th in regard to my
sincerely moved me
and I am infinitely grateful to you for it. You spent your valuable time in the interest
of a man who deserves this offering of yours.
I have published your warm letter, in hope of your retroactive consent, with a lit-
tle alteration as though it had not come to me but to a professor here at the local
This was necessary so that the matter looks more informal and not
staged by me.
I have another favor to ask of you, since for my husband’s sake I have to be pre-
sumptuous. It would be very useful and might be of infinitely much help if you
would address an appeal directly to the Hungarian
to the Prime Minister, Count Teleky himself—which was signed either by you
alone or along with a few others, even if they are less prominent yet impressive per-
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