V O L U M E 8 , D O C U M E N T 2 9 9 a 4 3
ed? However, the accursed utility of modern science for so-called practical purpo-
ses would pose difficulties for such a thing. Recently I was horrified to read that
America is also planning compulsory military
what a despicable world!
Who knows whether hard times aren’t approaching even for Switzerland, now that
imports are being jeopardized
Be this as it may, I am enormously
looking forward to the time I can sit with you and Besso on your veranda again and
peer out over the
and discuss all sorts of things.
Cordial greetings, yours,
Vol. 8, 299a. To Heinrich Zangger
[Berlin,] 16 February 1917
Dear friend Zangger,
Your letter about the condition of my youngest scares me less than you might
think. Well-deserved punishment for my having taken the most important step in
life so rashly. I begot children with a physically and morally inferior person and
cannot complain if they turn out accordingly. Only they will accuse me one day
when they are old enough; they will be only too right, unfortunately. So send my
poor boy wherever you and Bernstein see
if you really think something of it.
And even if you silently say to yourself that every [effort] is futile, send him
anyway, so that my wife and my Albert think something is being done against this
evil. I am going to try to send 500 marks to Zurich. I would be very unhappy if I
believed that I could have begotten valuable progeny with another woman. But if I
look around among my own family and see the banal people, tolerably healthy
though they are, then it seems to me that my contribution to this pitiful business
mustn’t be valued that highly, either. I console myself with the fact that life still
goes on through the fruits of labor. The happy consciousness of having really acted
productively and liberatingly in this way, and lastingly so, is a consolation for me
that nothing can destroy. With this thought I will know how to bear the experiences
of my children, sad though they may be; if only the cursed drive to beget children
didn’t aim to extend the misery into infinity! This drive, in concert with the medical
arts to keep alive something that is not viable beyond the years of fertility is under-
mining civilized humanity. So it would be urgently necessary that physicians con-
ducted a kind of inquisition for us with the right and duty to castrate without
leniency in order to sanitize the future.–
Previous Page Next Page