D O C . 9 8 S E P T E M B E R 1 9 1 9 8 1 98. From Paul Ehrenfest [Leyden,] 2 September 1919 Dear Einstein, In connection with other circumstances, we are now suddenly all in agreement that we must attach you to Leyden. The matter is extremely simple: provided you just say yes, it will—at least in all human probability—become possible to arrange everything in no time according to your wishes: 1. You’ll get as much remuneration as is necessary for you, your children, and whatever else—you have to calculate that yourself. (Our remuneration’s maximum of 7500 guilders is your minimum).[1] 2. Absolutely no lecturing duties will be imposed on you—the only real obliga- tion will probably be to choose Leyden (or its surroundings) as your principal place of residence. 3. You can take as much time as you like to work in Switzerland or elsewhere, give lectures, travel, etc., so long as one can say “Einstein is at Leyden—at Leyden there’s Einstein.” You understand: I speak as if I already have it all in my pocket, but that, of course, isn’t the case.—But tentative discussions awaken most encouraging hopes that all will immediately be arranged according to your wishes, provided only that you say (to me) that in principle you are ready to negotiate with us.– It may perhaps interest you to hear that Onnes especially (not to mention the rest of us!) is very enthusiastic about the idea as well![2] Never will you find it necessary to lecture in Dutch. You will learn whatever Dutch you need for practical living in a fortnight. Here you will have in your immediate proximity or be in easy contact with Lorentz, de Sitter, me, Kuenen, Droste, de Haas, his wife, Fokker, Burgers, Julius, Zeeman, and will regularly see intelligent and impressive young fellows of pleasant personalities. Moreover, guests like Nordström, Bohr,[3] etc. If you live farther out of town, you will be able to isolate yourself as much as you like. Dear, dear Einstein, don’t say no but come and see us as soon as you can for a fortnight or at least for a week.—But at all events, reply to me directly: “Well, what you are suggesting to me isn’t that silly.”– Dear, dear Einstein!—I don’t need anything more than that in order to set every- thing in motion right away. But listen: don’t reply with a direct rejection—because even if you can’t decide to do it in the end, it will nonetheless have already been of
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