2 8 V O L U M E 8 , D O C U M E N T 2 5 0 a
good, useful, and irreplaceable. Everywhere [there is] an unhealthy overrating of
power and money and an indescribable ravaging of the soul.
I am living very tranquilly and reclusively and am content. I am on the best of
terms with my colleagues and other people, partly because I understand them, part-
ly because they—thanks to my reputation—find everything about me fine and
good. This reputation holds up to vigorous tolerance tests. But beware when it
swings the other way!
Scientifically, I have found a few nice things again. Now I’ve fully mastered air-
foil theory. You’ll soon receive a brief elementary article about this, which contains
only the very basics, of
Furthermore, I found a nice addition to the quan-
tum theory of radiation and gravitation theory (gravitational
Switzerland’s problems are often the topic of discussion here as
land’s situation is simply, by nature, very difficult. I do have the impression,
though, that the authorities earned the mistrust of both parties involved from their
lax supervision of the negotiations.
Soon you will get the offprints. Warm greetings from your
A. Einstein
Vol. 8, 250a. To Heinrich Zangger
[Berlin,] Friday. [18 August 1916]
Dear Zangger,
Everywhere misery. Huguenin ailing and being operated
Besso sick, my
wife fatally ill, my children
How did Huguenin’s operation go? What’s
wrong with him? Send him my best regards. I hope he recovers very soon, likewise
Besso, whose whereabouts I don’t happen to know right now. He was on the
Planalp near
The sad fate of my wife affects me deeply. Your last letter
together with the Konversationslexikon clarified the case for me as far as is practi-
cally necessary. At the age of 20 or 21 my wife had a gland operation. It was with-
out a doubt a tuberculous
Now the business is spreading further in the
brain. I know very well that there is no hope left, but that the only question is how
long the torment will last. I was so ignorant as not to know the link between glan-
dular degeneracy and tuberculosis. Otherwise I would not have been so foolish as
to have children with this woman. Up to now it looks as if they haven’t contracted
it. What luck that we can’t look into the future; otherwise it would be intolerable.
It’s possible that my wife’s sister is going to Zurich for the
would be a true consolation for me because the children like her very much. But
when my wife’s illness is advanced to the point that she has lost consciousness, I’ll
immediately take the children to live with me. I’ll not send them to any school but
will teach them privately, partly myself, and then send them to Switzerland for the
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