4 5 4 D O C U M E N T S 5 2 6 – 5 2 8 M A Y 1 9 2 9 526. On Theater Performances for Prisoners [Berlin,] 11 May 1929 Here we are concerned to a large extent with a nonprofit enterprise that is intend- ed to save members of society who were led down the path of crime more by ex- ternal circumstances than by a social predisposition. This is not a negligible part of the inmates of our prisons. The proof: the great influence of the economic situ- ation on the frequency of offenses. Everyone knows that prisons are bad educational institutions. In my opinion, supporting an enterprise like this one constitutes a productive act in the true sense, more productive than unplanned, random giving of alms. [signed Prof. A. Einstein] 527. To Gustav Böß [Berlin, 11 May 1929] The city of Berlin unofficially held out the prospect of a gift on the occasion of my fiftieth birthday. In the interim it has turned out that the realization of this project must contend with long, drawn-out difficulties, whereas human life is short. For this reason, I hereby ask that yousee to it immediately give instruc- tion to the effect that this project should be stopped considered permanently closed. Respectfully yours, 528. To Michele Besso [Berlin, 12 May 1929] Dear Michele, I hope the article has gone on its way. I authorize you after the fact to make all the changes you deem necessary. What do your own hints about worries mean? Warm regards, your A.