D O C U M E N T 1 8 7 D E C E M B E R 1 9 2 3 1 8 9
187. To Jacques Loeb
[Berlin,] 28 December 1923
Esteemed Prof. Loeb,
Having made your personal acquaintance counts as one of my most treasured ex-
periences and finest
and I keep your letters as little gems. Although I
have almost never written to you, the guiding feeling was that I had nothing of any
importance to say to you. This is still true today, as well. But I am writing because
I would like to ask something of you. Namely, I recently had an idea about devel-
oping the general theory of relativity in greater depth, which offers hope of solving
the quantum puzzle or at least coming closer to its solution. The computational ex-
ecution of my plan goes beyond my own individual powers, however. I do believe,
though, that I could attempt this execution with better prospects if I had the help of
a theoretical assistant. I already have a skilled mathematician who often assisted
me with true devotion, a Dr.
who, furthermore, because of a burden-
some illness (growth hypertrophy of the head, tongue, and extremities from a glan-
dular disorder), is not suited for the teaching profession. Over the long term I can-
not accept this man’s help, however, if I cannot give him a salary. So I would
confidentially like to inquire about whether a possibility might not exist for me to
be able to receive such support for this purpose from the Rockefeller Institute. I
have been carrying this thought around with me for a couple of months already but
hesitated until today about whether to take this step. Now, however, things have ad-
vanced far enough that I consider such an application well justified, even though
the end result of my analysis certainly cannot be guaranteed. I think that 360 dollars
per year would be appropriate. Please do send me word about whether such an op-
tion exists and what conditions I must fulfill for it. I heard with great joy that O.
Warburg’s scientific work is being supported by the Rockefeller Institute in such an
effective way. That man deserves having been made independent by you, for he had
earlier been quite nastily oppressed by his professional colleagues
As re-
gards my case, I cannot submit any such petition here at this abnormally difficult
Europe appears to have to wither under the backwardness of its mentality.
France’s hand weighs terribly heavily on all, and no ray of hope is in sight, no pros-
pect of healing. Do not believe what the newspapers say about me. I intend to stay
here, particularly since the government and my colleagues are being very good to
me, and I do not want to become disloyal for merely opportunistic reasons. We are
doing quite well in every respect.
Previous Page Next Page