1 7 8 D O C . 2 0 7 D E C E M B E R 1 9 1 9 207. To Michele Besso [Berlin, 12 December 1919][1] Dear Michele, I was overjoyed with your letter which, at last, furnishes me with your address and simultaneously with the prospect of knowing you to be at an accessible dis- tance again, albeit beyond the virtually unscalable valuta wall.[2] It interested me immensely that you want to return to the Patent Office again, into that worldly cloister where I concocted my finest ideas and where we lived through such nice times together.[3] Since then, our sons have grown up and we are old boys![4] From 16–18 January I have to be in Basle[5] [I have promised, but doubt that I will keep the promise. Too much blathering and unnecessary fatigue is attached to such occasions.], where a conference is being held to consult about the Hebrew University to be founded in Palestine. I believe that this undertaking deserves en- ergetic collaboration. The reason I am going to attend is not that I think that I am especially well qualified, but because my name, in high favor since the English so- lar eclipse expeditions, can be of benefit to the cause[6] by encouraging the luke- warm kinsmen. Scientifically, I don’t have much going at present. My life is too unsettled. But I am in brotherly collaboration with Nernst right now on an amusing technical project.[7] It is gradually being revealed that in Weyl’s theory there are no static so- lutions with nonzero electrostatic potentials (comp. paper by Pauli in the Phys. Zeitschr.).[8] You feed it in at the front (variability of the measuring rods by the po- tential) and it finally comes out the other end again, thanks to tremendous compu- tational work. The question whether the cosmological solution is valid may possi- bly be verifiable by fixed-star astronomy some day, after all. I fret over that again and again.[9] My mother is coming to stay in our apartment. It’s a sad affair that will painfully fill another half year.[10] It would be a huge relief for me if my boys moved with Mileva to Germany in the course of next year. I am thinking of Durlach near Karlsruhe, where a relative of mine, an excellent man, is president at the prepara- tory high school.[11] Nothing can be done with German money in Switzerland, and it is surely not right to use up the little bit of savings in Swiss currency. For there’s no seeing into the future (thank goodness). Trouble is brewing between Maja and Pauli. They ought to divorce as well. Pauli is supposedly having an affair and the marriage is quite in pieces.[12] One just shouldn’t wait too long (like I did) it only
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