2 2 V O L U M E 8 , D O C U M E N T S 1 9 6 a , 2 0 9 a
Vol. 8, 196a. To Heinrich Zangger
[Berlin, 1 March 1916]
Dear friend Zangger,
My silence is a disgrace. But I’m coming at the beginning of April; then we can
chat again. I’ve been working enormously on a final formulation of the general the-
ory of relativity, which has now penetrated
A simple experiment to
demonstrate Ampère’s molecular currents is now finished and tried out,
demonstrate it to you all in Zurich as well. Besso will get a kick out of
very pleased about the completion of his dissertation as well as about the fact that
you seem to have become so much closer. Give him my warm regards. I’m feeling
very well. I live in complete seclusion, work away and—hold my tongue. Soon
we’ll be sitting together, Areopagus-like, on your wonderful veranda. But this time
you must allow me to live independently when I come to Zurich, if only for my
boys’ sakes, who are less hurt by it. I still have to work intensely right up to my trip.
Cordial greetings to you, your
and the children from your
Fond greetings to Besso! Pray for me, a poor sinner, because I still haven’t written
[him.] Tell him that I decided on the formality of marriage with my cousin after all,
because her grown-up daughters are otherwise seriously harmed by
doesn’t signify any injury either to me or my boys, but is my duty, which I mustn’t
dodge. Nothing in my life changes by it. Why should the original sin be even harder
on these poor daughters of Eve?
Vol. 8, 209a. To Elsa Einstein
[Zurich, 6 April 1916]
Dear Else,
I just arrived
2h 45 and have taken lodging at the
I am writ-
ing to my boys as well as to
Few people crossed over the border. The
inspection was very thorough, though, but entirely decent and polite (in
Jacket & vest off, shirt opened; even trousers down, collar off. Every single piece
was searched through. But the young official performed the procedures with much
One can see that an experience depends more on how it’s done than on
what it is. The train passengers were lackluster until the
stretch, when I conversed with a very worldly-wise young Swiss. The trip along
Lake Constance was magnificent. I am enjoying myself and, in contrast to the last
time, even my body is holding together
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