D O C . 3 0 3 F E B R U A R Y 1 9 2 0 2 5 3 Yesterday the political economist Prof. F. Oppenheimer from Frankfurt was here for a talk.[9] It was interesting, and yet: such a German professor always stands out so very unfavorably against the backdrop of accustomed modesty and courtesy here. Last year Troeltsch spoke here.[10] His final words were: “What will the future bring? I do not know: no one knows.”– Oppenheimer closed with: “Perhaps I am wrong. But everyone, you too, ladies and gentlemen—all must wish that I am right!” Afterwards in the discussion he was very polite with a professor, and unbe- lievably impolite with a student (he was speaking as a guest of two student associ- ations!!!!). The latter would have been absolutely unthinkable of a Dutch professor, particularly if he was a guest of a student group. Please note, he had no cause what- soever to do so.—I know, I know!– I already wrote you that I would be very happy not only for you but also for Her- glotz if he went to Berlin.[11] There’s a mathematician with a genuinely virtuosic mastery of the mathematical tools and nonetheless a musical affinity toward math- ematics, and he even truly grasps all (somewhat logically arranged) physics ideas, hence does not ruin the butterfly by catching it with a razor or wanting to strike it dead with a mathematical hay-threshing machine.—And on a purely personal lev- el, he is among the most subtle people I know. Unfortunately, from a hypersensi- tivity against northern German self-confidence, he hides himself timidly within a camouflage shell of utmost triviality.[12] —He could certainly help you as no one else could!– If the matter has not yet been decided, it would be nice if you wrote him a few words.—For years it has been a wish of mine to open contact between the two of you [and Joffe too with you.[13] —In the end, the number of people who make the world one’s home is not all that large.—What an odd kind of bird van Aardenne is, for ex.![14] And when you get acquainted with the amazing, quite inimitable mother of his friend de Ridder,[15] I bet you will say to me: “You know, I never thought such a thing existed!][16] I haven’t heard a peep from the Jerusalem University. I’m going to ask Ornstein again.[17] I just read a few novellas by Zangwill (Tauchnitz Edition). Artistically worth- less ghetto scenes.[18] Where is literature concerning Jews that, if only on a reduced scale, does to some extent what Dostoyevsky has done for Russians, or at least Let your wife make sure that your current publications (e.g., with Teubner) be done on the basis of contracts that do not make their inclusion in a complete edition of your pap[ers] more difficult in a couple of years. Please, please read this sentence to her in any case!
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