D O C U M E N T 2 8 6 J A N U A R Y 1 9 2 0 3 9 1
English translation under your kind
I have been told that a contract has
been made between you and my friends according to which a sum is to be paid to
which—allow me to say—appears to me to be out of proportion to the
amount of their work and trouble, and on account of the davaluation of German
I therefore take the liberty of asking you to pay the agreed sum of £15
or, if you cannot see your way to comply with this proposal to let
them have a certain percentage—say 5% of the
I trust you will not misunderstand my interference, which is solely prompted by
my wish to help scientific work to a remuneration in accordance with its real value.
I am, dear sir, yours faithfully
A. Einstein.
TLS (UkCUP, Pr/A/E/107). [85 296]. Addressee’s name is typed above salutation: “University Press
Cambridge.” Significant variations between this document and an unsigned, typed German-language
version [44 262], written four days earlier, are noted.
[1]In Doc. 275, Einstein decided to ask the publisher to pay higher royalties to Erwin Freundlich
and Moritz Schlick for the English edition of their books, Freundlich 1917 and Schlick 1920b, respec-
tively. In fact, only Schlick’s book was published by Cambridge University Press. The word “friend,”
here and below, is not used in the German version, which has “Herr Dr. Freundlich” and “scholars”
[2]In the German version a sum of 150 marks is mentioned.
[3]Instead of referring to the inflation, Einstein writes in the German version: “Even though I am
living in these times, I still cannot easily accept when someone is being wronged” (“Trotzdem ich in
dieser Zeit lebe, kann ich immer noch nicht ohne Weiteres hinnehmen, wenn Menschen Unrecht
[4]In a newspaper article of 14 April 1920, Borgius 1920, which suggested that the book export and
import trade in Germany be based on the peacetime prices of the books, an exchange rate was quoted
whereby 10 shillings equal 10 marks. On the basis of this exchange rate, the value of 15 pounds would
be equivalent to 300 marks.
[5]In the German version Einstein proposes to raise the per copy price by 1.5 pence and give this
extra sum to the authors.
286. From Alexander Eliasberg[1]
München den 27. Januar 1920
Hochverehrter Herr Professor,
Im Namen und im Auftrage des Herausgeberkreises einer hier im Entstehen be-
griffenen neuen Monatsschrift „Das Odeon“, wende ich mich an Sie mit der erge-
bensten Bitte, diesem engeren Herausgeberkreise beizutreten. Zu Ihrer Orientie-
rung teile ich Ihnen folgendes mit: die neue Monatsschrift soll nicht nur reine
Literatur und Kunst, sondern auch in hervorragendem Masse die Wissenschaft
pflegen, vorzugsweise die Naturwissenschaften; sie wendet sich nicht an einen
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