1 1 4 D O C S . 1 3 3 , 1 3 4 O C T O B E R 1 9 1 9 133. To Carl H. Becker [Berlin,] 15 October 1919 Mr. Undersecretary,[1] A colleague, Mr. Born, sent me the enclosed letter with the instruction that I for- ward it to you,[2] relying on me to give my opinion on it. I am firmly convinced that his descriptions are, unfortunately, in complete conformity with reality. I see the ul- timate cause of this lamentable decline in the dwindling force of the scientific ideal within the faculties. A change for the better could only be achieved by having men accredited with unquestionably important accomplishments somehow be allowed to influence the selection of professors. Whether or not a legally established proce- dure is needed for this is rather a secondary question, on which I do not want to elaborate here. However, I take the liberty of using this opportunity to point out two more cases which pose an impending threat of serious damage to German science. 1. The faculty in Bonn has nominated Mr. Konen, a scientific nonentity, for the regular professorship in physics (against the courageous resistance of an opposing minority).[3] 2. The Geodetic Institute in Potsdam, hitherto one of the most reputable scien- tific institutes throughout the world in this field, is in danger of coming under the leadership of a general who is but remotely concerned with scientific projects.[4] If this choice materializes, it would inflict serious harm on our scientific interests and even severer harm on the prestige of German science abroad.[5] I am enclosing two letters that highly esteemed colleagues have directed to me about these two affairs. With great respect. 134. To Paul Ehrenfest [Berlin,] 15 October 1919 Dear Ehrenfest, It’s all arranged. I depart from here Saturday morning, 7 o’clock, and should ar- rive at your home on the same day, God willing at least, on Saturday.[1] Thanks very much for all your effort![2] Until our happy reunion, yours, Einstein.
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