D O C S . 2 9 5 , 2 9 6 F E B R U A R Y 1 9 2 0 2 4 7 Epstein has a chance to obtain the professorship at Zurich University.[16] Debye supposedly has accepted at the Polytechnic in Zurich.[17] Regards to van Aardenne.[18] How do you all like the grand piano? I find it excellent.[19] 295. To Ludwig Hopf [Berlin,] 2 February 1920 Dear Mr. Hopf,[1] Saying no truly never was my strength. But in the predicament in which I find myself now, I am slowly learning. Since the influx of newspaper articles,[2] I am being so terribly deluged with inquiries, invitations, and requests that at night I dream I am burning in hell and the postman is the devil and is continually scream- ing at me, hurling a fresh bundle of letters at my head because I still haven’t answered the old ones. Added to that, I have my fatally ill mother here at home [3] as a result of the “momentous times” must attend countless meetings, etc.—in short, I am nothing but a bunch of pitiful reflex motions. So, mercy and pity, that’s all I am asking. I am not lecturing at Zurich anymore, partly because I cannot leave here, partly because physics there is so superbly represented that my schoolteach- ing has become absolutely superfluous over there.[4] So please pacify Sommerfeld[5] by giving him a faithful rendition of my truly pitiable situation (resplendent misery) and accept my cordial regards, yours, Einstein. 296. To Edgar Meyer Berlin, 2 February [19]20 Dear Mr. Meyer, I gladly accept your kind invitation to express my opinion on filling the teaching position in theoretical physics at the University of Zurich regarding Messrs. Ep- stein, Ratnowsky, Tank, and Scherrer.[1] From the scientific point of view, Epstein so much excels over the other three that to me there is no doubt that only Epstein can come under consideration for the professorship. His theory of the Stark effect is a scientific accomplishment of last- ing merit.[2] Furthermore, it must not be forgotten that only through Epstein did Sommerfeld’s quantum condition for systems of many degrees of freedom find its irrefutable formulation.[3] Epstein is a researcher of international standing.
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