1 5 8 D O C U M E N T 1 1 5 A P R I L 1 9 2 1
I shall be glad to have a brief expression from you telling us whether, in your
opinion, the course which we are pursuing is a wise one, whether the urgencey of
help is as great as we believe it to be. For any suggestions which you may be able
to make we shall of course be greatly indebted.
Yours very truly,
Franz Boas.
TLS. [36 199]. Written on letterhead “Emergency Society for German & Austrian Science and Art,”
and addressed “Professor Albert Einstein. Hotel Commodore. New York City.”
[1]Boas (1858–1942) was Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University.
[2]The Society (originally under the name “Emergency Society in Aid of European Science and
Art”), was founded by Boas (see his open letter to Paul von Hindenburg, president of Germany,
27 March 1933 [PPAmP, Collection I, Franz Boas Papers, B B61], and Boas 2004).
[3]In Germany, support for projects and printing costs had risen five- to eightfold over prewar levels
(see Adolf Harnack’s memorandum of February 1920, cited in Zierold 1968, p. 5).
115. To Carl Beck
New York, April 8, 1921
Dear Dr. Beck:
Please excuse my not answering you by wire as suggested by yourself; I could
not do so because the question required serious consideration and is too complicat-
ed to be dealt with by telegram.
My journey to America was quite unexpected; practically on the morrow of my
writing to you I received an urgent call from Dr. Weizmann, the President of the
Zionist Organization to go with him to America in order to assist in securing the
support of the American Jewry for the proposed University of
scheme being very dear to me, I felt bound to accept. At the same time I intend to
profit by this opportunity in order to deliver a number of lectures. I have already
arranged with the Princeton University to deliver five lectures there in the second
week of
I may also lecture at one or two other
The Committee on behalf of which you were approached is, I understand, a
Committee to promote the cause of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem which has
been organized in connection with my
I authorized a message of welcome
to that Committee since it is my object to encourage every effort on behalf of the
University. However, the composition of the Committee is not known to me. I think
that such improvised Committees must necessarily have a provisional character
and will require a certain amount of supplementing, coordination, reorganization,
etc., both during my stay here and even more so afterwards. Steps are also being
taken in New York to found an important University Committee on a big
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