2 0 2 D O C . 2 3 9 D E C E M B E R 1 9 1 9 239. From Paul Ehrenfest [Leyden,] 30 December 1919 Dear Einstein, 1. You have probably already heard that the Basle conference has been resched- uled to June.[1] And that’s good too, for the business really is still very premature. I had a thorough discussion with Ornstein.[2] It now seems to me that it would be most practical, starting from initial needs emerging as particularly urgent for the community (e.g., sanitary services, clinics, agricultural problems, irrigation works and roads, geographical and geological analyses), to begin by endowing appropri- ate experimental institutes that are organized in such a way that a small group of very carefully chosen, extremely gifted young people could obtain special, non- standard schooling at these institutes.[3] This initial arrangement would then be continued in that young researchers and students would have to work at all viable universities around the world with the support of a Zion[ist] foundation (with the requir[ement] of learning Hebrew and fulfilling other obligations toward Palestine yet to be determined in detail). I believe that only in this way would we be able to grope our way, in a few years, toward the staff and organizational structures that make the creation of a sound uni- versity in Jerusalem possible. So, as a start: A. Creation of actually needed experimental institutes in Palestine with school- ing of a very small group of extremely choice, promising young persons there. B. Grants for working and studying at various universities around the world with specific obligations for the grant recipients. To be more precise, (A) and (B) in organ. correlation with each other grounded in the clear goal: eventual creation of the (Hebrew) university in Jerusalem.[4] Such “hothouse facilities” degenerate almost completely after 10–15 years. But for a brief span of time (5–10 years) they appear to be able to deliver quite good results (judging from the French models). [Foundation of the École Polytechn. by Monge (See Arago!), Pasteur’s institute, etc.][5] If I had, over 3–5 years, circa 20,000 guilders at my disposal annually, I would want to do such a hothouse experiment for mathematics with the help of Brouwer, Deiner, Ornstein, and Lorentz.[6] Template: In Russia, Poland, Hungary, etc., 3–4 young mathematicians are hunted down who have demonstrated their creative Patronage and “compassion” must be ruled out.—Criterion must be: a flour- ishing future university in Jerusalem.—
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