3 0 0 D O C U M E N T 2 8 1 M A Y 1 9 2 6 281. From Chaim Weizmann Oakwood, 16, Addison Crescent, [London] W14, 9 April [May] 1926[1] My dear Professor Einstein, I must thank you for your two nice letters.[2] The first one found me in Palestine just a few days before my departure I found the second here the day before yester- day upon my arrival.[3] I did not take away any favorable impressions of the university. The Jewish Dept. has money, and also people, but it is a hodgepodge and unsystematic.[4] Magnes is also just a dilettante in Jewish subjects and is dilettantishly bungling about in this department.[5] Instead of doing two or three fundamental subjects well and later building everything around them, all sorts of things are being started. The outcome is a muddle, from which perhaps something might emerge later, but at the present time it is not satisfactory. Although there are rudiments on the Jewish studies side at the university, there is nothing on the scientific side. Fodor has built up quite a good institute, but he does not know how to direct. For many reasons: (1) He wants to do everything: chemistry, physics, mathematics. He is a good biochemist and should stick to that work.[6] But he is trying to emulate Magnes. (2) He is all by himself and marooned, and in this lonely situation one would re- ally have to be a very strong person in order to assert oneself Fodor, however, has become, (3) to my dismay, so hysterical that he lacks almost any sane judgment. He quarrels frequently with the young people who are willing to work he is said to have surrounded himself with vacuous elements, has chased away the better staff.[7] I am convinced he acted in good will, only his power of judgment is com- pletely weakened, and the whole thing will come to nothing unless another two or three men join the science dept. Magnes has no competence in these matters Fodor cannot master them on his own. Now they are finally tackling the construction of the physics and mathematics institutes.[8] That could rescue the whole thing. But at least 2 years will pass before these things begin to function. What should happen in the interim? Unfortunately, I do not see any possibility of replacing M.[9] I don’t know whether I will be re- leased in order to go to Jerusalem and devote myself to the university over there.[10] I want to very much, but I don’t know if it is feasible. Magnes realizes, I think, that he cannot handle this business, and he also realizes that the business won’t work without us. Hence it will become necessary for a rep- resentative of the presiding committee and the Zion. Org. in Jerusalem to share the burden of responsibility until more professors are there. M.’s autocracy must be broken.
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