1 0 0 D O C U M E N T 8 2 M A R C H 1 9 2 2
help in this better than anyone else; and by accepting you will do a very great ser-
vice to your colleagues from Germany and France and above all to our common
I answered my friend’s letter initially with a polite refusal, indicating that my
main reason grew out of a sense of solidarity with my colleagues
I could not rid myself of the feeling, however, that by my refusal I had followed
the path of least resistance rather than my true duty. A conversation with Minister
had the result of turning this feeling into firm conviction. That is why
a few days after my first refusal I wrote a second letter to Prof.
in which
I retracted my refusal and stated my willingness to accept the invitation if other
arrangements had not in the meantime been made regarding the relevant guest lec-
tures. Thus I agreed with Langevin to travel to Paris at the end of the month, in
order to deliver the
In view of the circumstance that the academy is interested in all events that con-
cern international relations, I consider it appropriate to submit the above informa-
tion to the academy.
With great respect,
A. Einstein.
82. From Paul Ehrenfest
[Leyden,] 13 March 1922
Dear Einstein,
The devil take you—to Leyden!—You drive your contemporaries crazy, not just
with but also with your routine
1.° You are going to Japan in the
—very rightly so—at least in the sense: I
naturally would go to Japan, too, if anyone invited me.— But translated from Jap-
anese into Dutch this means: In the fall you are in any case not coming to Ley-
2.° So I have to thank God Almighty that I grabbed you by your spring coattails
when you wrote with such conviction: “Should I come and see you yet again; isn’t
it better if I come in the
3.° Now you’re piping yet another tune and want to come “through” Leyden
instead of “to” Leyden (on 7 April not a single cat—besides me—will be in Leyden
anymore!)—Oh my, oh my, oh my!—I’d sooner take a mortgage on a soap bubble
than on you.
4.° No—Mr. Privy Councillor: You come nicely and like a normal bourgeois to
Leyden, not during but after (our) Easter vacation. Whereby, as a special favor, I
Ghk,uv st
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