2 6 V O L U M E 8 , D O C U M E N T 2 4 2 a
The war is educating people here most propitiously, or better put, the food short-
If it continues systematically like this, as seems to be the way things are
going, the fellows will become quite likable yet. No person and no nation can take
much outward success without damage.
Daily reports on my wife’s condition are not necessary. I’m entirely satisfied if
you or Besso inform me briefly on a postcard if there is anything urgent or if any-
thing new is revealed about the condition.
Cordial greetings, yours,
Vol. 8, 242a. To Emil Zürcher Jr. and Johanna Zürcher-
13 Wittelsbacher St., Berlin, 25 July 1916
Highly esteemed Mr. and Mrs.
My friends Zangger and Besso inform me in every letter about the devoted and
magnanimous way in which you are supporting my
I know that you are
alleviating my wife’s hard lot and thank you
I did not know how
seriously ill she is until now, or better said, I did not believe in the severity of the
But now I am shocked to see that the basis of the troubling letters is un-
fortunately quite
I urge you please to apply your influence that (at my cost) an experienced and
reliable nurse be engaged, if this hasn’t already happened and if my wife does not
prefer to be taken to a hospital.
The most difficult and perplexing problem for me now is the care of the children,
during my wife’s presumably lengthy illness, when they return from vacation. Most
obvious would be that I come to Zurich then and take care of the boys during the
day. Perhaps I’ll even do so and ask you please to inform me in any event when they
are coming back
Unfortunately, however, grave reservations speak against my coming. You know
that after a long, painful marriage we have been living separately for 2 years now
at my instigation and that I have been strictly avoiding meeting my wife since then
to avoid new
My trips to Zurich were only intended for my
If I
come to Zurich now, I fear that the wife will demand that I visit her. You can imag-
ine how difficult it would be to decline such a request under these conditions. If
this happens I go to see her, it will not only cause considerable agitation but I
could find myself compelled to promise things that would separate me from my
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