V O L U M E 8 , D O C U M E N T 4 5 a 1 5
Do write me again soon but slowly and leisurely, simplistically, and with legible
writing. You know well I am a nonmedical man.
I live here very cozily all by myself in a comfortable small
housekeeper tidies up. As soon as better times arrive, you must turn up in my den.
Vol. 8, 45a. To Heinrich Zangger
[Berlin,] 11 January 1915
Dear friend Zangger,
Your letter and your postcard arrived. As a man with faith in society you are
seeking to assuage the terrible suffering that people are now falling victim to, and
are finding solace in
The likes of us, however, are so disgusted by the
abundance of incomprehensible, puzzling, and unspeakable ugliness that we crawl
even deeper inside our snail shell of contemplation. You probably received the pa-
per on general
it is a successful end to my struggles in this area. Accept
this booklet as a sign of amicable feelings, not as a presumption that you should
immerse yourself in such ponderings! At the present time I am collaborating with
de Haas (a young Dutch man, Lorentz’s son-in-law) on a very interesting experi-
mental matter about the nature of
The issue in question is whether
paramagnetism can really be attributed to revolving electrons; the goal is surely
attainable. As soon as the analysis is completed, I’ll send you an offprint. Here
scientific life is almost at a standstill. Everyone is working and suffering for the
state, in part voluntarily, in part
If only one could do something
about it so that the former relatively harmonious conditions were reinstated! But in
this state of agitation such lack of passion is offensive to those who are more deeply
stuck in this affair.
Recently Edgar Meyer wrote and asked me to do something for him with regard
to obtaining Kleiner’s position in
But I believe that I would rather harm
than help his prospects if I put in a word for him without being asked. I tell you,
though, that Meyer is an excellent physicist, who would be more useful to the uni-
versity than most others. Couldn’t you perhaps suggest that I be asked?
It’s good that among the fine minds strikingly many are considered cripples by
the state, especially among theoreticians. Debye, Born, and Laue were all deemed
The latter told me recently that he had insurmountable difficul-
ties learning the rifle drills—a pretty illustration of the manifesto published by my
colleagues, according to which “we owe our scientific prowess not least to our
In recent days I made the acquaintance of our colleague
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