3 1 8 D O C . 3 8 1 A P R I L 1 9 2 0 381. From Julius Burghold[1] Frankfurt-am-M[ain], 17 Arndt Street, 19 April 1920 Highly esteemed Professor, From the papers I learned that you have been advocating reducing the cost of for- eign literature by means of a book exchange.[2] In December of last year I had al- ready submitted a proposal to the government along the same lines. Please refer to the enclosure for the content of my submission to the Foreign Office.[3] A copy of this submission was communicated by me to the Reich’s Minister of the Interior, to the Prussian Minister for the Sciences, etc., and to the General Secretary of the Prussian Academy.[4] Furthermore, I contacted the presidents of the universities there and here. The president of the local university, Privy Councillor Kautzsch, discussed the matter in January at the Conference of University Presidents in Halle there a commission was formed for further treatment of the matter.[5] From the For- eign Office I received a response of March 11th, a copy of which is enclosed.[6] I point out that the export ban “envisioned” therein had already been imposed before the date of that letter (11 March 1920): newspapers had already published it, while it was still unknown at the Foreign Office. The secretary of the Academy wrote me on March 26th that the Academy had followed my suggestion of bringing to the at- tention of the Reich’s Minister of Foreign Affairs a foreign book swap “by printer’s sheet number” (I had never made such a suggestion, of course).[7] From the outset I had never counted on finding backing for my proposal from the German book trade. In fact, the Association of German Booksellers even de- clared that although my proposal certainly may be in the interest of German sci- ence, it was not in the interest of the German book market. The thereafter estab- lished Agency for Foreign Trade of Books in Leipzig, which has since released the book export ban and is solely responsible for issuing export permits (and can even withhold permission from a private German citizen to give or exchange a volume abroad, or charge a fee of at least 1.– mark), is working directly counter to acqui- sition of foreign literature. Lately, W. Borgius suggested in the Frankfurter Zeitung (14th April, 1st morn- ing edition), just like I had, a “compensatory exchange” abroad.[8] Because of the evident disinterest of the responsible authorities, however, there seems to me to be no prospect that my proposed route would be taken if one were not successful in moving these authorities finally to take decisive steps. The route I suggested still seems to me the only one leading to the goal and this goal must be reached if Ger- man science is not to go to complete ruin.
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