1 9 2 D O C . 2 2 5 D E C E M B E R 1 9 1 9 there under present traveling conditions.—I have the impression that we could be much more useful if we could discuss everything calmly and carefully in Utrecht or Leyden after the conference has come to a close, rather than approving tumultu- ously resolved decisions.[8] One ought to work toward not deciding anything in Basle, appointing commissions instead.[9] After consulting with Ornstein I’ll write you again. Regards, Ehrenfest. Another letter to follow in a few days. 225. From David Hilbert Göttingen, 20 December 1919 Dear Colleague, First of all, in the name of the former editors of the Mathematische Annalen and personally too I would like to thank you particularly for your willingness to join the editors, which henceforth will be composed of you, Klein, me, and Blumenthal, the latter of whom will manage the actual administration. Sommerfeld and Born have also offered their services as members of the science advisory board,[1] whereby our interest in the mathematical aspect of physics finds adequate and, we are con- vinced, appropriate expression. We here are chiefly disheartened by the prospect of losing Debye, and we are making every conceivable effort to increase the chances of his staying—and they certainly do exist.[2] I fear, or have the impression at least, that, among other things, he assesses the possibility of Germany’s recovery too unfavorably. And then the idea came to me, whether you, who were clearly in the same position with a glam- orous call to Zurich, could not write a few words to Debye.[3] That would undoub- tedly have an influence on him. He also returned very satisfied from his last visit to Berlin, where he had given a talk before the Chemical Society and spent much time with Haber.[4] I am sure that, now especially, multiple demands are being made of you accord- ingly, do not be irritated by my suggestion. After the holidays Debye wants to come to Berlin for negotiations at the ministry and then decide.[5] Besides, Debye would probably stay if it became feasible to offer the institute to him alone and to remove Pohl there is, in fact, no room for 2 directors at the institute.[6] Goodbye to you now, and cordial greetings, yours, Hilbert.
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