4 2 V O L U M E 8 , D O C U M E N T 2 9 7 a
Vol. 8, 297a. To Heinrich Zangger
[Berlin,] 13 February 1917
Dear friend Zangger,
A hale family, indeed! The wife is sick, one child sickly, the husband sick. It is
touching how well you’re attending to such a pitiful crew. Today I brought your
question to Prof.
who also promised to send you word. The liver is sick,
that’s certain; he verified it today again by feeling in the front under the lower edge
of the rib cage and on the back at a particular spot on the right, where a character-
istic oversensitivity was detected. The nursing is excellent; my cousin cooks every-
thing exactly according to the doctor’s
Without your care packages,
though, the stock of suitable chicken feed would soon be
I get, in ad-
dition, Mergentheimer mineral water twice a day. I spend the afternoons in my rel-
atives’ home because I cannot prepare the right supper
He, too, is very
much for the Tarasp cure; but who knows what will happen by
Let’s not
make any plans so far in advance. I should just commit myself to the extent of de-
termining the time of my trip to Switzerland. When do you think I should come? I
also asked my Albert, but haven’t received an answer yet. In any case, the spring
break is an unfavorable time, because I can’t go on any excursions with the boy
then. How is your health; do you really have to be patched up as
I hope not.
You have even less time than I. The analysis on the cosmic field of gravitation has
become very interesting. If matter is as dense everywhere as in the fields of stars
within our range of view, then the universe should (be finite and) have a radius of
approximately 10 million light-years. Unfortunately a direct proof will probably
never be possible, because we can only see up to a few thousand light-years. It is
difficult for an intuitive thinker to consider the universe unbounded and yet finite,
similar to the surface of a sphere but
This subject reminds me
of our friend Besso’s castle in the air, which you withheld from me without regard
for my not inconsiderable
The war doesn’t seem to want to end at all
anymore before Europe has deteriorated
But the people don’t de-
serve otherwise. Or should one excuse it all due to suggestibility and unfortunate
circumstances? Destiny does not ask about guilt but proceeds according to natural
laws. But one thing constantly occupies me. Why don’t we have an analogue to the
medieval monastery, a place of refuge for people who want to withdraw from all
worldly dealings, renouncing certain things commonly held to be worth striving
for? Couldn’t such an international establishment with cultural objectives be creat-
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