3 5 0 D O C U M E N T S 3 5 0 , 3 5 1 O C T O B E R 1 9 2 4
350. To Betty Neumann
[Berlin,] 28 October 1924
Dear Betty,
I’ve been writing you little but thinking of you all the more. The problem of what
should happen with us hasn’t escaped me, especially considering that it cannot be
dealt with like the problems I otherwise encounter. Things that don’t have a com-
mon gauge have to be weighed against each other. But slowly it did become clear
to me where our right path lies. We must in the future completely avoid each other,
if harm is to be prevented. You are young and have a life ahead of
You must
look for a lifelong companion from among your age group, become a wife and
mother. This you cannot do if I’m stuck in your head, which after the acquired
sweet habit of commonly shared evenings is inevitable. If we don’t see each other
anymore in the near future, the memory of me will evaporate and you will joyfully
look for that same thing which now appears gray to you. When you have gotten
over it and have found a husband, I will be your friend again and you will smile
about your earlier troubles. I, however, am an old fellow and have to come to terms
with the facts and seek among the stars that which is denied to me on Earth. In re-
turn, I’ll have the feeling of being a decent fellow who didn’t sacrifice another’s
fate for the sake of affectionate games. I know well that Uncle Hans and Aunt Min-
na don’t think
but they are wrong. If they had children, they would think dif-
ferently. But this way they rate your present contentment too highly and don’t con-
sider enough what you could lose forever by it. Katzenstein, who spoke very nicely
about you, also holds this
“It would be bad of you to chain the girl to
yourself; there are obligations that no one may disregard.” Be happy and try to re-
cast me in your mind in the role of a kindly uncle!
For now, warm regards to you, Uncle Hans, and Aunt Minna, from your
A. Einstein.
P. S. On Sunday I would like to go on a walk with Uncle Hans again; but I’ll only
come to visit after Tweety has flown away.
351. To Arnold Berliner
Berlin, 29 October 1924
Dear Mr. Berliner,
What I wrote was only a report about a book by the philosopher
Since he is a neo-Kantian, some commentary generally referring to Kantian
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