D O C U M E N T 3 4 3 S E P T E M B E R 1 9 2 2 2 7 3 Overbrimming energy strains against your persistence! Then your nervous upheaval makes you into a fool Whatever new thing you set out to do is too much You must steadfastly trudge along the beaten path. Greetings, F. Haber. 343. From Henry N. Brailsford London, S. W. 1, 67 St. George’s Square, 4 September 1922 Highly esteemed Professor, It is my opinion that an open letter by you during this dreadful crisis in the lives of the German people could possibly exert a great influence on public opinion, indeed, perhaps a decisive one, in accelerating a return to reason.[1] Not just that you may be the only citizen of the German republic whose name inspires gratitude and respect among all, even among those who still uphold their political prejudices. The fact that you are devoted to scientific truth ought immediately to raise above the political debate any statement you should make about the affairs of the present day. I believe that the questions to which English readers would particularly like to have an answer are the following:– (1) Some of us know that the economic crisis that Germany has been experienc- ing since the armistice has had the worst consequences on science and culture in general. But a relatively limited group comprehends this fact and it knows nothing more about it, either. Could you tell us from your own experience and your own knowledge about the conditions at German universities how the general impover- ishment has affected them? Is it exaggerated to assert that these circumstances, if they were to persist for a longer period, pose a threat to the future of European civ- ilization as a whole? (2) Does your experience confirm the impression I gained during a recent visit in Germany that the material and cultural standards of living for the middle class have suffered even more than for the working class? And do you believe from your experience that students and teachers are particularly grievously affected by this new impoverishment?[2]
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