1 1 6 D O C U M E N T 1 6 0 J U N E 1 9 2 1
people around him are leaving their posts at the age of 68. His intention is to retire
and at the same time accept a position in industry, the earnings from which could
serve, together with his pension, as his livelihood.
It is not an easy decision on the part of industry to entrust employment to a man
75 years of age. It goes quite contrary to their tradition, which is tuned to engaging
persons who could be counted on to be useful for a long time to come. The natural
position for him, where this aspect is thoroughly eliminated, would be that of a
board member. Such advisory positions are usually only given to people who have
links to other major economic enterprises or have other connections of importance
to the business. With them it is not a man’s working energy but his connections that
are relied upon, and since such connections grow with the years, age is not an
obstacle here but rather an advantage. Consequently, this would come in the first
place into consideration. But I must say, my feeling is that only an extraordinarily
lucky chance or a special interest of a personal nature can lead to this best solution,
because throughout his life President Warburg did not adequately foster personal
relations with people of influence in the physical industry. And, if I am not mis-
taken, he is not generally regarded, by the relevant people, as someone with impor-
tant personal business contacts. A possible exception here is
who has a
special relationship with the Warburg family. Mr. Koppel always used to accept old
generals on his supervisory board. Perhaps, now that generals have gone out of
fashion, he is interested in Mr. Warburg. But this matter is uncertain.
If a seat on a board cannot be considered, the essential thing is finding an
arrangement in which one of the physics firms, or many of them, would give him
an advisory function, and it would be particularly favorable if you were inclined
and in a position to interest Dr. Rathenau in this.[3] Your word weighs heavily with
him. Warburg himself applied to Siemens & Halske, who very politely but frostily
dropped him, and this failure is probably why he asked for my advice. I would like
to stake the best chances in the lamp-trust in which Rathenau, Karl Friedrich von
Siemens,[4] and Koppel are the 3 most influential people and Meinhardt is
director.[5] I am writing a letter to Meinhardt, a copy of which I enclose and, if you
are inclined and in a position to do so, request that you discuss this with Rathenau
and with Koppel. Warburg stated promptly clearly that he does not feel pressured
in any way to resign his post, but that he would do so immediately were he to find
employment in industry that brought him 40,000.– marks a year. If the avenue with
the lamp-trust should prove intractable, I would appreciate being able to discuss
another avenue with you.
Cordial regards to you and your dear wife, yours,
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