1 7 6 D O C U M E N T 1 7 2 A P R I L 1 9 2 8 172. To Leo Kohn Berlin W., 14 April 1928 Dear Mr. Kohn, Unfortunately, I read your detailed letter of 3 March only today, as a result of my journey and a painful cardiac problem that will keep me in bed for a long time still.[1] I am in complete agreement with your measures. In my opinion, Brodetsky is the right man for our position, since he, in contrast to L., is not only an expert in the field but also has experience in administrative and human matters.[2] It also re- quires a youthful energy.[3] Whether it is advisable to make a major financial sac- rifice in order to bring Prof. Landau to Jerusalem permanently is hard for me to judge.[4] It is certain that in terms of scientific research he would carry out fruitful seminarlike work, but it would extend only to a relatively narrow area of pure mathematics, i.e., to mathematics that is not concerned with applications. If the sit- uation justifies making the necessary sacrifices, then it might be beneficial to make an attempt to keep Landau in Jerusalem. In general I am absolutely in favor of beginning there with the purely theoretical departments.[5] These cost much less than laboratories, and correspond much more to the orientation and tradition of the Jewish spirit. If I had to decide, before any research position in empirical sciences not imposed on us by external necessity, I would set up exclusively institutes for mathematics, theoretical physics, and epis- temology. In this way, by carefully choosing people we could, with relatively mod- est means, create an institute whose global standing would ensure that we could raise the funds to establish the institutes for the empirical sciences. But if we con- tinue to produce mediocre laboratory work in a small framework, then I am con- vinced that nothing will come of the whole thing.— If we decide to bring Prof. Landau to Jerusalem, then we must make a great effort to bring in addition a couple of capable mathematicians in order to create a specialized technical milieu. Best regards, your P.S. Mr. Ginzberg asked me to send him the submission of a man from Vienna? who had approached me about establishing a chair of geography in Jerusalem.[6] What the man’s name is, I cannot tell you, because my wife[7] threw Ginzberg’s let- ter away. Please see whether I might have sent you the submission concerned. If I did, then please inform Mr. Ginzberg. But in the end, the matter is of no signifi- cance, because we probably cannot consider establishing such a chair. A. Einstein
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