8 4 D O C U M E N T 7 5 S E P T E M B E R 1 9 2 5 chemists)[9] that an inquiry with Lorentz, you, and Bohr[10] will certainly yield the unanimous decision that, given the current standing of scientific publications, Kramers has ABSOLUTE priority before all other non-professor theoreticians. I asked that no faculty business be disclosed to me since I want to remain indepen- dent, and asked only that my opinion be taken into account.— I already received a very friendly response yesterday from O.[11] I will disclose some of the content to you: O. only recently realized that the best solution would be for him to make the SACRIFICE of dropping his theoretical professorship the fact that he must make this sacrifice, as the misconceptions of other people would have it, is related to his opinion that his position would thereby be distinguished, but he was not interested in that. He ranked—and he wanted to give me written evidence of this—Kramers above Burger as a theoretician, but, nevertheless, he proposed Burger for this posi- tion and was standing by his opinion On Monday, 28 September, what is likely to be a crucial faculty meeting will take place. He forwarded my letters to Cohen and Kruyt without any comment other than that I did not receive the information from him. He did so although he found it detrimental to the interests of physics in Utrecht—despite the fact that he would consider the acquisition of Kramers a wonderful thing for them.— Dear Einstein, I’m not sure I would not perhaps have acted exactly as O. did in his place, I mean in good faith with full knowledge of ALL circumstances, which one certainly can’t often understand completely from the outside.— Furthermore, I don’t even actually know whether Kramers would accept after all, because Bohr is doing everything possible to make his stay in Copenhagen pleasant, and every- one there values him highly, especially also as a brilliant lecturer.— But however you look at it, it is truly quite inadmissible that Kramers be passed over without even so much as asking him!!!!!!!! and I also sincerely fear that such a cool disre- gard would not only be insulting to Kramers, but could also be objectively harm- ful.— I mean in the eyes of those who are themselves unable to assess Kramers from a scientific standpoint.[12] For example, Kramers became a regular member of the Danish Academy even though he is a foreigner and is by far younger than all the others.— His being passed over in Holland in such a cold-blooded manner would be exceedingly vexing!— You certainly see that the issue is multifaceted & perhaps nothing can be done since I heard about it too late however, it would still be good to try to do something, if only so that Kramers will find out later how peo- ple whose judgment is most important to him stood up for him. Lorentz was most probably consulted, but it would already have been arranged so his reference letter could not somehow disrupt the plans.— It can be done so eas- ily through the appropriate formulation of a question or through other means.— In any case, I don’t wish to ask Lorentz directly, but only sent him a copy of my correspondence.[13] By the way, I would not communicate any possible response
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