D O C U M E N T 4 4 6 J A N U A R Y 1 9 2 7 4 3 9 446. From Paul Ehrenfest Leyden, 8 January 1927 Dear, dear Einstein, First of all, from the bottom of my heart, my best wishes for the New Year to you and all those dear to you! And now this: I haven’t replied until today to your “AWAY-FROM-Leyden”-letter,[1] so terri- ble for all of us here, in order to be able to write to you the following now: I. ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE HERE, in the faculty as well as in the Senate and the University Fund’s Board of Curators, perfectly comprehends that you— like anyone of us also, of course, under the growing burden of obligations and com- mitments—must, in his own way, sooner or later go about successively releasing himself from everything that can be released without damaging anything funda- mental. And everyone understands how intolerably burdensome it gradually must be for you to be periodically ordered to travel to Leyden. II. On the other hand, though, everyone reacted equally startled at my announce- ment that the tie between you and Leyden should cease. Each in his own special way. And from the combination of these two insights there resulted among ALL, entirely in the same way, the same reaction, which I jokingly[2] will formulate this way: “Quite simply, Einstein will become a retired professor of ours.” This means: From now on, it will absolutely not be expected anymore that he come to Leyden. We may surely scarcely doubt his willingness to support us with his advice as a col- league, through written correspondence or oral discussion in Berlin and we may surely request that he LEAVE HIS NAME ATTACHED TO OUR FACULTY gen- erally, that no change occur at all IN FORMAL RESPECTS, just that ALL RE- SPONSIBLE PERSONS (THEREFORE, IN PARTICULAR THE CURATORS OF EINSTEIN’S CHAIR) expressly know that Einstein is now absolutely ceasing to come to Leyden. This has now been discussed with ALL the persons concerned. That is, there wasn’t much to discuss, because everyone agreed from the very first mention of it. I just wanted to wait for today’s meeting of the University Fund’s executive com- mittee. And now I am asked to request that you simply find it well and good that everything formally continue peacefully, but that among all the responsible persons it will be clearly understood that your periodic visits to Leyden are no longer going to be expected. If, for example, you should happen to FEEL LIKE coming to Ley- den for a couple of days on your way to Paris or somewhere else, that would natu- rally be received with great joy, BUT NO OBLIGATION BEARS DOWN ON YOU ANY LONGER!!!!!! The really merely symbolic small sum must continue
Previous Page Next Page