D O C U M E N T 4 0 3 D E C E M B E R 1 9 2 4 3 9 9
It was my mistake to believe that we were not permitted to give anything to
The damage is not great, however, since it would have been exceedingly
difficult to make a selection for the amount going to Russia, partly because of the
immense number of possibilities, partly because of the difficulty of maintaining po-
litical neutrality.
In expressing to you my joy that our collaboration has succeeded so well, I send
you my greetings and best wishes for the holidays.
A. Einstein.
403. To Mikhail Pokrovsky
Berlin, 21 December 1924
Esteemed Professor,
To my keen regret it has not been possible for me, as a result of inordinate over-
work, to respond earlier to your last letter in the matter of the Günzberg
In the interim, however, I have had an opportunity to contact the leadership of the
Jerusalem university library and determined that the payment of such a high sum
as mentioned in your letter is entirely beyond the scope of feasibility for the Jeru-
salem library which has exceedingly modest means at its
The Jerusalem
university library is prepared, however, in accordance with your proposal, to pres-
ent this matter before a three-member arbitration court that is composed of one rep-
resentative for each of the two parties and a chairman chosen by both parties. I have
noted that you named Professor A.
as your representative and have
asked the leadership of the Jerusalem library to nominate their own representative.
Dr. A.
whom you apparently envisioned as chairman of this arbitration
body, has now, as I hear, unfortunately recently died in London. Under these cir-
cumstances it would surely be best to wait on the appointment of the chairman until
the representative of the Jerusalem library has arrived in Moscow.
In this connection I would not like to neglect to point out, in view of some of the
arguments contained in your last letter, that this matter does not involve the removal
of a Russian cultural oeuvre but rather the receipt, postponed by the war and its sub-
sequent circumstances, of a special collection that had already come into the
possession of the Jerusalem university library years ago and is of very special sig-
nificance for the university’s specific cultural aims. It would be incomprehensible
to any person of culture if, due to the impossibility of an earlier transfer of the li-
brary, for which the world war alone is to blame, difficulties should be made for the
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