4 2 2 D O C U M E N T 3 0 9 F E B R U A R Y 1 9 2 0
wenn nicht in Wirklichkeit im Endresultate sich alle Glieder gegeneinander heben
müssen. Mit herzlichen Grüssen von uns beiden treulich Ihr
H. A. Lorentz
ALS (NeLR, Arch. 55). [16 502]. There are perforations for a loose-leaf binder at the left margin of
the document.
[1]At the 9 February meeting of the executive committee of the University Council. The proposal
was made by the four Leyden physicists, i.e., Paul Ehrenfest, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Johannes P.
Kuenen, and Lorentz (see Cornelis van Vollenhoven to Pieter Zeeman, 10 February 1920, NeHR, Zee-
man Archief).
[2]Doc. 256 arrived after Einstein’s reply telegram to Lorentz (see Doc. 265).
[3]Einstein’s mother, Pauline, was suffering from terminal cancer.
[4]Geiger et al. 1920. In Doc. 256, Einstein advised Lorentz that he would soon receive a copy of
a revised version of a publication on war crimes committed by the German Army in Lille, France.
[5]The second version of the Lille booklet clearly emphasizes its purpose: to educate the German
public about war crimes carried out in their name, of which they were unaware; to give the German
public the opportunity, through condemnation of these acts, to refute the suspicion that there is no
shared moral judgment between themselves and other peoples; and, through rebellion against such
acts of violence, for Germans to atone, reform themselves, and ultimately rejoin the community of
nations, which, in turn, would end the moral and intellectual blockade of Germany.
The section based on German records now examines forced labor and deportations, as well as
house searches of scholars, robbery of scientific institutes, the use of children and the elderly in the
line of fire, and hostages (Geiger et al. 1920, pp. 3–4, and 50–61).
For the authors listed in the first version, see Doc. 28, note 3. The authors of the revised version
are Walburga Geiger, Max Hodann, Elisabeth Rotten, and Erich Schlesinger (Geiger et al. 1920, p.
[6]On Schouten 1918, see Doc. 10. Schouten’s treatment of geodetic precession dealt only with pre-
cession due to the failure of the gyroscopic axis to remain parallel to itself after a complete orbit in
curved space-time. As Willem de Sitter pointed out in his addendum to Schouten’s paper, this left
open the question of whether additional contributions to the effect were demanded by the theory. In
fact, Schouten’s effect accounts for only two-thirds of the full geodetic precession, as was shown in
Fokker 1920a. According to De Sitter’s addendum, the difficulty with observing this relativistic effect
lay not in measuring a precession of that order, but in the large uncertainties in the theoretically pre-
dicted size of the effect, due to the experimental uncertainty in Earth’s principal moments of inertia.
309. From Hans T. Cohn
Berlin 12/II 20
Sehr geehrter Herr Professor,
Eben komme ich aus Ihrem Kolleg und erlaube mir, obwohl Sie mich garnicht
kennen, Ihnen auf diesem Wege ein paar Worte über das Benehmen des Auditori-
ums zu sagen, mich gewissermassen bei Ihnen zu
Es geht mir dabei nicht so sehr um mich, sondern ich glaube, dass es unter Ihren
Zuhörern eine ganze Anzahl geben wird, die die heutige Szene ebenso verletzt hat
wie mich. Von der Sache selbst garnicht gesprochen, haben sich doch beide Partei-
en heut in einem so hässlichen Licht gezeigt, dass man schamrot werden
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