3 6 2 D O C U M E N T 3 8 4 J A N U A R Y 1 9 2 9 384. From Hans Reichenbach Berlin-Zehlendorf, 27 January 1929 Dear Mr. Einstein, The Vossische Zeitung has forwarded me the letter that you addressed to them.[1] I am most deeply hurt by your action against me. If you believed you had some reproof to direct against me, then it was surely obvious that you should turn to me directly, but not to the Vossische Zeitung. The responsibility for my essay lies with me and not the Vossische Zeitung. I have earned so much personal regard through all that I have done publicly for relativity theory and in recognition of your personal accomplishment, that you cannot simply ignore me.[2] In any case, I would like to answer you directly, for I cannot accept that a third party has slipped between us. When I came to you recently to hear from you about your new theory, I came truly out of scientific interest—you can believe me about that. In the following days several requests came to me concerning the sensational press coverage that had already been released, begging me for information. As I very often receive such requests and as I also write publicly, I naturally wrote the desired essays. The thought that I was in a position to prove of service to you was decisive for me, since I had to assume that the sensational appearance of previous reports must have been displeasing to you, and that you would like nothing more than that the public would cease to interfere in a matter that is certainly primarily meant only for a circle of experts. And really, if anyone was qualified to take a position on the matter of rel- ativity theory, which in the meantime had already become a public matter, I was. For there is hardly anyone who has struggled more for an understanding of relativ- ity theory in the broadest public circles than me.[3] You are now upset by my essay, and as it seems from your letter to the Vossische Zeitung that the reason for this is because I have anticipated your own publication, for I can understand in no other way your allegation that my behavior runs counter to academic custom. I must strongly object to this allegation. In the aforementioned essay I have, in essence, merely recounted the scientific prehistory of your work, and the couple of sentences that concern your new work are of such a completely general nature that they could not detract at all, really not at all, from the priority of your publication.[4] These sentences are in fact just as well suited to every earlier form of general field theory. It is therefore incomprehensible to me that you could say as much. The mathematical part of what you recently reported to us was by its nature out of the question for a popular presentation. But that I should have first asked your permission for the sake of a couple of completely general sentences—
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