Letters to Solovine: 1906–1955

I often think of you and wonder from time to time what you are doing and how you spend your days. I am writing you because of this and something else which has come up.

A few days ago a patent attorney to whom I had previously mentioned your name came to me with a document which was to be translated into flawless French. Naturally, I did not accept, for the matter was urgent. But I want to ask you if you are leading a satisfactory existence now. If not, here you still have a definite opportunity to find employment in the patent office and eventually work up to a good position. Write soon and let me know what you think of it.

All three of us are fine. The filius has already become a haughty, impertinent young chap. At the moment, I myself am not achieving many results from the scientific point of view, and soon I shall reach the stagnant and sterile age at which the revolutionary mentality of youth is deplored. My works are highly esteemed and are giving rise to further research. Professor Planck (Berlin) has written to me recently concerning this.

I have again moved, this time back to Kirchenfeld (Aegertenstr. 53). Since you have been gone, in my private life I have had nothing at all to do with anyone. Even my conversations with Besso on the way home have stopped, and I have heard absolutely nothing more from Habicht. I was pleased to learn from Besso that you successfully finished your examination. It is to be hoped that this will mean a more comfortable material existence for you.

My cordial regards to you and write soon to,

Yours,     

A. Einstein

My wife and Mr. Besso send friendly greetings.

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August 15, 1908

Dear Solo,

I offer my heartfelt congratulations on your position. You can not imagine how glad I am to know that you are getting along well.

My very best while vacationing.

Your   

Einstein

Mileva and Bubi Einstein also send you cordial greetings.

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Berne, Thursday

December 3, 1908

Dear Solo,

Your apologies, though very gracefully tendered, are still bad. Here we can probably spend sleepless nights no less magnificently than the sleepless academic half-nights which I fondly recall. Your excuses are not accepted, but your unqualified acceptance is awaited.

Cordial regards from

Your     

A. Einstein

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Berne              

March 18, 1909

Dear Solovine,

I was elated over your friendly greeting. Yesterday a young Japanese who is going to Paris came to me. I sent him to you, thinking that you would certainly be glad to meet him. When will you ever come to Berne? You can never imagine how often I think of you and how glad I would be to see you. Cordial greetings from my sister and her Pauli.

With friendly regards

Your     

A. Einstein

My wife and Bujo also send their best greetings.

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Hofstr. 116 

Zurich         

[Spring, 1913]

Dear Solovine,

I am very glad that we shall be able to stroll around in Paris. If only I did not have to give this lecture which—horribile dictu—I must give in French.

With best regards,

Your        

A. Einstein

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W 30             

Berlin           

April 24, 1920

Dear Solovine,

I am very glad to learn that you intend to write something about my theory. I myself have prepared a summary which I am sending to you; aside from that, I have only the original drafts of essays that are, unfortunately, out of print. Books which I recommend for scientific libraries are Weyl’s Time, Space, Matter and Schlick’s Space and Time in Physics Today (both published by Springer, Berlin), along with another volume entitled The Principle of Relativity and published by Teubner; the third edition of the latter work, soon to appear, will contain the most important of the original essays on the general theory of relativity. I will be glad to read through your manuscript.

Mileva is in good health; I am separated from her; the children are with her in Zurich, Gloriastr. 59. Albert is quite robust; the little one is unfortunately rather sickly.

Besso has roamed through different countries of the world but is again at the Patent Office in Berne. Paul Winteler and my sister are still living happily in Lucerne.

I am very glad to have heard from you again on this occasion; I wish you success in your undertaking.

Best regards from your

A. Einstein

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[Undated]

The contents and method of the theory of relativity can, despite the variety of experimental physical facts on which the theory is based, be outlined in a few words. In contrast to the fact, known since ancient times, that movement is perceptible only as relativemovement, physics was based on the notion of absolute movement. Optics had assumed that one state of movement, luminous ether, is distinct from all others. All movements of bodies were supposed to be related to the luminous ether, which was the incarnation of absolute motionlessness. If a fixed formal luminous ether filled everything in space, then the movements of bodies would be related to it and one could in this physical sense speak of “absolute movement” and ground mechanics on this notion. But after efforts to discover the privileged state of movement of this hypothetical luminous ether through physical experiments had failed, it seemed that the problem should be restated. That is what the theory of relativity did systematically. It assumed that there are no privileged physical states of movement and asked what consequences could be drawn from this supposition concerning the laws of nature. The method of the theory of relativity is analogous to the method of thermodynamics; for the latter is nothing more than the systematic answer to the question: how must the laws of nature be constructed in order to rule out the possibility of bringing about perpetual motion?

A further characteristic of the theory of relativity is an epistemological point of view. In physics no concept is necessary or justifiable on an a priori basis. A concept acquires a right to existence solely through its obvious and unequivocal place in a chain of events relating to physical experiences. That is why the theory of relativity rejects concepts of absolute simultaneity, absolute speed, absolute acceleration, etc.; they can have no unequivocal link with experiences. Similarly, the notions of “plane,” and “straight line,” and the like, which form the basis of Euclidian geometry, had to be discarded. Every physical concept must be defined in such a way that it can be used to determine in principle whether or not it fits the concrete case.

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Against the concept of an infinite spatial world and in favor of a finite spatial world, this much can be said:

(1) From the point of view of the theory of relativity, it is much simpler to conceive of a finite spatial world than a quasi-Euclidian world bounded by infinite space.

(2) Mach’s supposition that inertia depends on the reciprocal action of bodies is approximated in the equations of the theory of relativity; from these equations it follows that inertia depends, partly at least, on the reciprocal action of masses. Mach’s supposition is therefore well founded, for it is hardly appropriate to suppose that inertia depends partly on reciprocal action and partly on the independent properties of space. But Mach’s supposition calls for a finite spatial world, not a quasi-Euclidian infinite world. In short, from the epistemological point of view it is better to have the mechanical properties of space wholly determined by matter, and this obtains only if the world is spatially finite.

(3) An infinite world is possible only if the average density of its matter is lost. Such a supposition is logically possible, to be sure, but it is less probable than the supposition that the world’s matter has an average finite density.

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March 8, 1921

Dear Solovine,

Thank you for the cheerful report. But are you collecting the 10% per copy which I had intended for you? If not, then simply keep for yourself one-third of the sum (20%) due me. I can tell by your question that you have been very conscientious about the translation. For that reason I am writing to offer you the exclusive translation right and promise always to place at your disposal whatever I decide to have translated into French. Just how do mathematical writings fit into the picture? I approve of the contract.

That abominable X… falsified my foreword by inserting letters—without my permission—which came, not directly from me, but from an acquaintance of mine whom he had showered with French comeliness. You would be rendering me a great service if you could help me expose the blackguard publicly.* Soon you will receive a short lecture and supplement to be translated. You may be surprised to learn that I have to ask the Academy for permission to have it translated. Perhaps those chauvinists will allow me to publish this nonsense in French.

I am not eager to go to America but am doing it solely in the interest of the Zionists, who must beg for dollars to build educational institutions in Jerusalem, and for whom I act as high priest and decoy. If we were at all interchangeable, I would gladly send you in my place. But I am really doing whatever I can for the brothers of my race who are treated so badly everywhere. I am sure that we would understand each other perfectly if we met again. I do not think that all this undeserved incense has blackened my soul. I regret that I failed to give you my little book to translate too. But how could I have done so? If I could do something to put that wretched X… in his place, I would not hesitate. Write me here. Perhaps it is still possible, before the trip. If necessary, I will have it forwarded. I am leaving here on March 21. Leave out the titles of the Leyde lectures—just do whatever you think best.

Most cordial greetings,

Your        

A. Einstein


*I have not read the book by X… and therefore do not know whether it has any merit.

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March 16, 1921

Dear Solovine,

I am returning the signed contracts (Gauthier-Villars) to you. Please send the money to Professor Ehrenfest, Witte Rozenstr., Leyde, and indicate that it is for me. I am doing this because I need a considerable amount of money in other countries, especially in Holland and Switzerland, and this arrangement simplifies matters. I have the permission of the Academy. I am leaving this Sunday, with the result that none of your letters will reach me here. In two months I hope to be back here. If I give any lectures in science, it will probably be at Princeton University, where I was first invited. If you wish to send letters to me in America, please address them to the Kuhn Loeb Bank in New York.

Dear Solovine! Neither am I a flagwaver, and I believe firmly that the Jews, considering the smallness and dependency of their colony in Palestine, are not threatened by the folly of power.

Dear Solovine! I would like to talk longer with you, but I am like a hare at bay and must use the minutes sparingly. Meanwhile, I send you my cordial regards.

Your     

A. Einstein

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March 19, 1921

Dear Solovine,

Many thanks for the splendid article and your proposal. But I myself can not write for a newspaper. That is against my most cherished principles and practices. I could express my opinion only if someone asked me a question, but that is now too late, for I am leaving the day after tomorrow. Besides, you misunderstood me. I wrote no foreword for X…, but he committed a forgery, using among other things, of course, some sentences from one of my letters. I would be pleased to have this circumstance known.

With warmest regards to you,

Your        

A. Einstein

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Berlin              

January 14, 1922

Dear Solovine,

Much work and the horror of writing books make it impossible for me to write what you wish. Soon you will receive my Princeton lectures. They can not be published, however, until they have appeared in America. Terms to the publisher are 20% of the selling price, of which you will receive 5% and I the rest.

With cordial regards

Your        

A. Einstein

It would be better for you to write to Mrs. Untermayer in English to show her that you know the language. But you should also let her know that you understand German and French better. You should also tell her that, when we were youngsters, we stayed side by side for a long time and studied together. A firm approach is indispensable everywhere in America; otherwise one receives no pay and little esteem.

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Berlin W. 30   

Haberlandstr.5

March 14, 1922

Dear Solovine,

How glad I will be to see you again in Paris! I am to arrive on March 27 or 28. Langevin has made arrangements for a hideout, but I beg you to keep it a deep secret, for the days that I spend in Paris are going to be very trying.

Concerning the provisional contract with Gauthier-Villars, I have two reservations:

(1) The paragraph which I designated as b must be deleted since I am naturally giving him only the French publishing rights.

(2) The paragraph marked a makes no sense to me.

Perhaps we can settle the matter during my stay in Paris.

I am very glad that we are going to be together. I only wish I had a better tongue for French.

With friendly regards

Your        

A. Einstein

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Berlin              

March 22, 1922

Dear Solo,

I expect to arrive the evening of the 28th on the only evening train or the morning of the 29th at the latest if I miss a connection along the way. I have already gotten rid of everything possible in order to have some time for living.

Looking forward to seeing you, I am

Yours      

A. Einstein

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April 20, 1922

Dear Solovine,

Hearty thanks for having sent me the things that I left in Paris. Those days were unforgettable but devilishly tiring; my nerves still remind me of them. Here I have not yet seen anyone, but I am told that the newspapers did a good job, with the result that the aim of the operation was fully realized. The corrections have not been completed, but you will receive them. The initial operation was successful; it is good that I was there. I am sending you a letter for Baron Rothschild which I would like for you to give him. Let us hope that we may again spend a day together just as we used to in Berne.

Cordial greetings

Your        

A. Einstein

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July 16, 1922

Dear Solovine,

Included herewith are the lectures. I shall make the minor changes in the book and correct the mistakes in spelling. I am glad that you are ready to take a trip to see your mother again at last. Here our daily lives have been nerve-racking since the shameful assassination of Rathenau. I am always on the alert; I have stopped my lectures and am officially absent, though I am actually here all the time. Anti-Semitism is strong. The endless chicanery of the Entente will fall upon the Jews again. There are complaints about numberless acts of chicanery against industry, the destruction of factories, under the pretext of military expediency.

Cordial greetings and much happiness

Your        

A. Einstein

Painlevé is interesting, but it would be hard to defend what he has to say about relativity.

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[Pentecost, 1923]

Dear Solovine,

It was wonderful in Japan. Genteel manners, a lively interest in everything, an artistic sense, intellectual honesty together with common sense. The brothers of our race in Palestine charmed me as farmers, as workers and as citizens. The country as a whole is not very fertile. It will become an ethical center but cannot accommodate a very large segment of the Jewish people. But I am convinced that colonization will be successful. I am glad that your trip was such a great success. Let us hope that we can talk about it at our ease one of these days. Send G.V.’s thing to Mr. Kuno Kochenthaler, Calle Lealtad, Madrid, and keep one-tenth for your services. Since I do not have Nordmann’s address, I am returning the proof to you. Unfortunately, the criticism leveled at it is justified. He must set it straight. Give him my cordial greetings. I resigned from a commission of the League of Nations, for I no longer have any confidence in this institution. That provoked some animosity, but I am glad that I did it. One must shy away from deceptive undertakings, even when they bear a high-sounding name. Bergson, in his book on the theory of relativity, made some serious blunders; may God forgive him.

Affectionate regards from

Your        

A. Einstein

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August 26, 1924

Dear Solo,

You do not have to send the proofs to me. Gauthier-Villars can simply send me the money at my Berlin address (Haberlandstr. 5).

Cordial regards,

A. Einstein       

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October 30, 1924

Dear Solovine,

You will receive by mail the brochure of Klass. d. ex. W. and the book…by A.M. That should be enough biographical material. I was always interested in philosophy but only as a sideline. My interest in science was always essentially limited to the study of principles, which best explains my conduct in its entirety. That I have published so little is attributable to the same circumstance, for the burning desire to grasp principles has caused me to spend most of my time on fruitless endeavors. The commission of the League of Nations was better than I thought. There is still hope that things will be better in Europe.

Cordial greetings from

Your        

A. Einstein

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November 8, 1929

Dear Solo,

Today I am giving a lecture on my new theory at 5:30 at the H. Poincaré Institute. I am sending you the enclosed ticket. We can spend the evening together if you have the time.

Looking forward to seeing you again, I am

Your        

A. Einstein

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December 28, 1929

Dear Solo,

I have looked everywhere for your Democritus but have not found it, though I recall having received it from you. Can you send it to me again? I will then read it immediately and write to you about it.

Affectionate regards

A. E.                   

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March 4, 1930

Dear Solovine,

I needed some time to read through your Democritus, for I was burdened down with my own work and disturbed by other things. The first copy turned up in the interval.

I was elated on reading your Introduction. It seems to me that you handled Democritus’ relationship to his predecessors beautifully. To me at least it cast new light on one point: the reconciliation of the fixed absolute and formless change (atom and movement). Worthy of admiration in the original is the treatment of perceptible qualities. He goes to great lengths to defend his basic idea in his discussion of the sense of sight. A number of his moral aphorisms have real beauty, but many reek of philistine pettiness (ethical theory of herds of swine). The translation seems on the whole to be letter-perfect insofar as I can judge from my inadequate knowledge of French. Noteworthy is the firm belief in physical causality, which is not even stopped by the will of Homo sapiens. To my knowledge only Spinoza was so radical and so consistent.

My field theory is progressing smoothly. Cartan has done some good work in this area. I myself am working with a mathematician (W. Mayer of Vienna), a splendid fellow who would have been given a professorship long ago if he were not a Jew. I often think of the lovely Parisian days, but am satisfied with my relatively peaceful existence here. Do not hesitate to call on me if you think I can be of help in any way.

Cordial regards

A. Einstein      

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Caputh near Potsdam

July 6, 1932             

Dear Solovine,

Herewith the contract with my sincere thanks for your letter. Soon I hope to write the short treatise on the cosmological problem.

I shall not be present at the Geneva congress. It is enough for me to serve on a committee. I can be more useful at my desk than through direct participation, especially so in view of the fact that I am no orator.

Cordial regards to you.

Your        

A. Einstein

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Caputh near Potsdam

September 29, 1932

Dear Solo,

You impatient scoundrel! I managed to tie the thing together only after putting myself to a great deal of trouble and going through much reshuffling and some real work. But now it is crystal clear. I hope you will like it. But I reserve the right to incorporate it later into an English publication that I have been promising for two years.

I hope that you, personally, are well in this topsy-turvy world in which the hypocrisy of “cultured people” makes it impossible to exterminate militarism.

Cordial greetings from

Your        

A. Einstein

Please return the manuscript after you have made the translation.

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Caputh near Potsdam

October 6, 1932     

Dear Solovine,

By the end of December I shall be in America, unfortunately, so that we are not going to be able to see each other here. I inserted the word “so-called” into the expression “Cosmological Problem” because the title did not accurately characterize the subject dealt with. I believe that we can change the title to “On the Structure of Space in General.” I hope that you will soon regain your usual good humor, which has always been solidly grounded on resignation.

Cordial regards to you

Your        

A. Einstein

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Caputh near Potsdam

November 20, 1932

Dear Solovine,

I am firmly convinced that with you the whole affair is in good hands, and I give you full authority to settle everything without me, using your own judgment. It would be best for you to send the copies to me next April at my Caputh address only. I do not need them in America.

Tell Langevin that I again thank him sincerely, and insist that he answer my letter soon. There is to be an international meeting of distinguished intellectuals who are staunch pacifists; their aim is to gain a voice as a body in the political press and exert their influence on questions of disarmament, security, etc. Langevin should be the soul of such a group, for he has not only good will but also keen political insight.

Cordial greetings,

Your        

A. Einstein

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Le Coq near Ostend

April 23, 1933       

Dear Solo,

I could not manage to answer your letter on time, so great was the stream of letters and men. I fear that this epidemic of hatred and violence will become widespread. It rises like a torrent until the upper layers are isolated, distressed, demoralized and engulfed by the flood. I now have more professorship than rational ideas in my head. The devil mocks the people!

Enough nonsense. Let us hope that we may still see each other one day when calmness has again enfolded me.

In the meantime I send you my warmest regards.

Your        

A. Einstein

If you see any Jewish academicians who are refugees from Germany, please have them get in touch with me. I would like to try with some friends to found a free university abroad (England?) for Jewish teachers and professors; it might at least meet their most pressing needs and create a sort of intellectual refuge.

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Le Coq         

May 19, 1933

Dear Solovine,

Nothing again concerning the Pentecost project. As a matter of fact, I have to go to Zurich the day after tomorrow to see my ailing son and immediately thereafter to Oxford (Christ Church College) where I am to remain until about June 20. It is quite possible that I shall then come to Paris for the business of the Collège de France. In that case, we may see each other in Paris; otherwise, I hope it will be here, where I intend to spend the summer. Despite all the excitement and interruptions, I am happy because of the good work which I have done here with my scientist friend.

Warmest greetings to you (hastily),

Your        

A. Einstein

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Princeton       

April 10, 1938

Dear Solovine,

I still hope to be able to entrust the translation of our book into French to you. Mr. Infeld has, it is true, already promised a French concern (Flammarion) the publication rights; but we reserved the right to choose the translator ourselves. Mr. Infeld has already given your address to the publisher. The book owes its existence to the fact that I was obliged to provide for Mr. Infeld, who was refused a fellowship. We worked out the subject very carefully together, giving particular attention to the epistemological point of view. In Mach’s time a dogmatic materialistic point of view exerted a harmful influence over everything; in the same way today, the subjective and positivistic point of view exerts too strong an influence. The necessity of conceiving of nature as an objective reality is said to be superannuated prejudice while the quanta theoreticians are vaunted. Men are even more susceptible to suggestion than horses, and each period is dominated by a mood, with the result that most men fail to see the tyrant who rules over them.

If this were true only of science, one could dismiss it with a smirk. But the same holds in politics and in our lives. Our times are so wretched that not one enlightened man is left. On the one hand are fools with evil intentions; on the other, a base egotism. Naturally, America is no different, everything coming here later and more slowly. You are not made for this situation. One must be young and cut to a pattern or die of hunger. To be sure, I am highly esteemed, like an old museum piece or curiosity, but such a dada is overlooked. I work earnestly always, supported by a few courageous colleagues. I can still think, but my capacity for work has slackened. And then: to be dead is not so bad after all.

Warmest greetings,

Your        

A. E.        

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Nassau Point, Peconic

Long Island, N.Y.      

June 27, 1938            

I believe it would be to your advantage to exchange places with your mother. The German translation was made by an irksome colleague who owes our approval, alas, to pity. You should therefore concentrate your efforts, as you yourself suggest, on the English text.

In the English edition there is unfortunately, with respect to developments concerning the propagation of light, a misstatement of fact as to the time of the setting of the sun. I simply can not understand how my colleague, who can usually be relied on, could have written that or how I could have let it pass. The passage states that at the instant a sunset is observed, the setting has actually occurred six minutes earlier. This mistake springs from a geocentric description from the point of view of a system of coordinates that rotate with the earth. Unfortunately, I cannot find the passage, but you will certainly come across it. Thus I cannot say at the moment whether the sentence should be deleted or replaced by another. You may leave out the curricula: you need not send me the proofs; I have full confidence in you intelligence.

The Title Evolution de la Physique does not seem to me to express the intention exactly. Actually, I was not in complete agreement on the English title. The German title seems more apt to me, for it points up the psychological or subjective moment. The word “clue” as used in police jargon means a decisive point of view (trail) that leads to the solution of a crime or to a causal chain of isolated facts revealed by experience. The choice of the right French word is up to you. It is not true that I am leaving for Europe. I am staying here in a quiet corner during the summer and always struggling to have as little as possible to do with others. If anyone can understand this, it would have to be you.

I am working with my young people on an extremely interesting theory with which I hope to defeat modern proponents of mysticism and probability and their aversion to the notion of reality in the domain of physics. But say nothing about it, for I still do not know whether the end is in sight.

Cordial greetings to you

Your        

A. Einstein

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December 23, 1938

Dear Solovine,

The misfortune which you describe concerning the French edition of the book is great. But I think that we should consider ourselves extremely fortunate if this were the worst that actually happens through human frailty. Let us then bow ungrudgingly to the inevitable.*

France’s betrayal of Spain and Czechoslovakia is frightful. The worst part is that the consequences will be deplorable.

In my scientific work I have come across a wonderful subject which I am studying enthusiastically with two young colleagues. It offers the possibility of destroying the statistical basis of physics, which I have always found intolerable. This extension of the general theory of relativity is of very great logical simplicity.

Warmest greetings to you,

Your        

A. Einstein


*The copies arrived and look beautiful. Only the gods know when I shall find time to look more closely at the poor things.

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August 29, 1946

Dear Solovine,

I was very glad to receive your letter, and can hardly wait to see you again after having been seriously concerned over you, I must confess. You write to me so politely—as if you had never herded pigs with me and done other things with me when we were both still young. I have also heard from Habicht, whose whereabouts are probably unknown to you.

Wishing you and yours the very best and looking forward to our happy reunion in October, I am

Your        

A. Einstein

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October 5, 1946

Dear Solovine,

I am very happy because of you and because we can see each other once again in this best of all possible worlds and talk about all possible things. You will live with me, first because you should and second because right now it is impossible to find a room here. So there!

Same as ever,

Your        

A. Einstein

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April 9, 1947

Dear Solovine,

You alone would suffice to keep my bad conscience alive if it did not find ample nourishment elsewhere. For you have written me in such an amiable manner and in such detail at different times. You had an adventurous trip and were able to become acquainted with both sides of Uncle Sam; you had a good look at his cavalier treatment of persecuted people, or rather those whom others have persecuted; he is undertaking a number of things in this area and making great progress.

I had already learned of Langevin’s death. He was one of my dearest acquaintances, a true saint, and talented besides. True, the politicians exploited his goodness since he was unable to ferret out the base motives which were so foreign to his nature. It is surprising that France is recovering so slowly; I believe that this is the reverse of her individualism, which does not allow responsible public opinion to come to light unless it serves the purpose of national pride. Never thank me again for whatever bits we have the right to send you; it confuses me too much. I thank your doctor profusely for his well intentioned and competent advice, but I must be careful in describing my health, without lying too much, as bad, for this is my only effective weapon. Besides, they have already discovered that it was due largely to a deficient diet; by enriching the diet, they were successful in restoring my good health. I read your Epicurus with intense interest. He is quite right in saying that ethics must not be based on belief, that is, on superstition. The eudemonic concept is certainly fitting. But I feel strongly that it is too primitive. Good acts are like good poetry. They are sensed easily but are only partially understood. Even if the doctrine is accepted, the feeling of goodness is a precarious basis, for the more closely one looks, the more nebulous it becomes. The most ingenious people have not succeeded in determining even the nature of the escape of mind and mood and the basis of their powerful effect. Subjectively my sister feels well, but she is going down a steep grade from which there is no return. Hers is a little steeper than that of most people of the same age. Currently I am reading Xenophon’s Cyropaedia to her in the evening. It is an exquisite work. Something so fitting and so natural was realized only by the Greeks. It was very kind of you to have invited Mrs. François. Heine’s beautiful line applies to her: “If it rained ducats, she would have only holes in her head.” In Mr. Straus’ company I am always bothered considerably by the verification (or refutation) of my equations. But we are far from having surmounted the mathematical difficulties. It is a hard matter, which even a real mathematician would not have the courage to attack. As for the book, I am convinced that you did a good job in correcting it. I do not know where the ridiculous passage about the sunset is. The reader enjoys discovering such a lapse, so why deprive him of his pleasure (Epicurus). Did the latter have a place for malicious pleasure on his balance sheet? According to him, it would definitely be considered as positive if the injury is not caused by men. (Here I am only kidding.) I surmise that you wish the English Evolution…. Sending the stupid thing is not worth the bother. It is probably not obtainable in the latest English editions.

All the best you both!

Your        

A. Einstein

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August 26, 1947

Dear Solovine,

I am getting along well, with a few ups and downs, and so is Maja (all things considered). I was delighted to read your Epicurus. All in all, it would be hard to deny that the man’s system of ethics is logical. Against this, it seems to me that he fails to exhaust his subject, for the values shown as positive are to some extent incommensurable and can not without further elaboration be added or subtracted. Suppose, for instance, that we are convinced that the cumulative happiness of ants is higher than that of men. Would it then be right from the ethical point of view for men to surrender to the ants? Regardless, do not lose your temper because of me and my stubbornness, and rest assured that as far as heat and humidity are concerned, we can offer you large-scale competition.

I torment myself bravely with my main problem but without obtaining any decisive result.

With cordial greetings from all of us to you and your wife.

Your     

A. Einstein

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November 25, 1948

Dear Solo,

The good Lord seems to have been very nonchalant about accepting your consignment, but the effect was still the same, as you see by this letter. He probably follows scrupulously the maxim of a governmental employee: There is no affair so pressing that it will become more pressing if laid aside for some time.

My friend Lowe spoke to me about you. From his account it is clear that aside from the above-mentioned God and some black marketeers, no one in France lives better. It is worth noting also that there are attempts to uphold “our” policy of bringing the Nazis back to power in Germany in order to use them against the wicked Russians. It is hard to believe that men learn so little from their toughest experiences. Following his suggestion, I sent Hadamard a telegram to support opposition to the policy. In it I said: “This world war would not have occurred if people had listened to the far-sighted Clemenceau.” Let us hope that the intellectuals will achieve something.

At home, everything goes smoothly so far. My sister does not suffer, though, objectively, she sinks visibly. I always read to her in the evening—today, for instance, the odd arguments which Ptolemy advances against Aristarchus’ opinion that the world rotates and even moves around the sun. I could not keep from thinking of certain arguments of present-day physicians: learned and subtle, but without insight. The examining of arguments in theoretical affairs is precisely a matter of intuition.

In my scientific activity, I am always hampered by the same mathematical difficulties, which make it impossible for me to confirm or refute my general relativist field theory, though I have a very competent young mathematician as collaborator. I shall never solve it; it will fall into oblivion and be discovered anew later. That has already happened to many problems.

Among the works that I have been reading to my sister in the evening are certain things from the philosophical writings of Aristotle. They were actually deceptive. If they had not been so obscure and so confusing, this kind of philosophy would not have held its own very long. But most men revere words that they can not understand and consider a writer whom they can understand to be superficial. That is a touching sign of modesty.

The English show a kind of cheap resentment which I would not have believed possible against our small Jewish tribe. But their internal politics really deserves praise. They are perhaps the only ones to end outmoded capitalism without a revolution. Objectively they are actually in a worse condition than France, which is neither overpopulated nor reduced to importing foodstuffs.

During these last months, one of Conrad Habicht’s sons came here; he is a very clean-cut, well-built boy, who is also a mathematician. Once again I had news of the old man. We really had a wonderful time in Berne, when we were intent upon our studies in our happy “Academy,” which was less childish than the respectable Academies that I became more intimately acquainted with later on.

One of the good sides of old age is in gaining the right perspective for viewing all things human. You certainly do not have to grow old for that.

Cordial greetings and wishes from

Your

A. E.

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Lido Beach             

Sarasota, Florida    

Februrary 22, 1949

Dear Solovine,

The exchange of letters with a South African schoolgirl which you refer to was a dismal failure. The main outcome was astonishment at the news that I had not been dead for 300 years (confusion with Newton).

I am here in Florida for three weeks, with four more days to go. The operation was a stomach incision based on a conjecture which was not entirely correct. I have made a good recovery and the operation was not useless, because certain defects were corrected. But I am still weakened, for at this age one can no longer expect very much.

With cordial regards to you and your wife,

Your     

A. Einstein

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March 28, 1949

Dear Solovine,

I was deeply moved by your affectionate letter, which contrasts so sharply with the countless other letters that have reached me on this unhappy occasion. You imagine that I regard my life’s work with calm satisfaction. But a close look yields a completely different picture. I am not convinced of the certainty of a simple concept, and I am uncertain as to whether I was even on the right track. In me my contemporaries see both a heretic and reactionary who has, so to speak, survived himself. That, to be sure, is a matter of fashion and short-sightedness, but the feeling of inadequacy comes from within. Well, it can not be otherwise when one has a critical mind and is honest, and mood and modesty keep us in balance in spite of external influences.

God knows how right you are in everything you say about human experience. But whatever is done justly cannot be done otherwise. What is most grievous is the social drama which is being played on the world stage. This domination of blind impulses. America, England, Russia and the smaller ones—may the devil take them, and he will.

The best that remains are some upright friends whose heads and hearts are in the right place and who understand each other, as we two do.

I am curious about the material you have assembled on Heraclitus. I think that he was a stubborn, melancholy man. It is a pity that these gigantic individuals can be seen only through a thick fog.

My very best, to you and your wife.

Yours,     

A. Einstein

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January 25, 1950

Dear Solovine,

I sent you a thick volume thinking that certain things in it would probably interest you, among them my little quarrels with professional physicists. Soon I shall also send you the new edition of my book with the Appendix which produced so much excitement in the newspapers a few weeks ago even though no one, except the translator, had seen it. This is really amusing: laurels given out in advance! I shall also send you another book containing essays composed at odd intervals as soon as they are printed. It contains the odd exchange of letters between me and the (so-called) Russian academicians.

I hope that life in Paris is gradually becoming tolerable for the non-black marketeers, and that you are well, you and your wife. Our own private life is satisfactory.

Cordial greetings from

Your        

A. Einstein

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June 12, 1950

Dear Solovine,

Enclosed herewith is the confirmation sent to Gauthier-Villars. It would be more appropriate to have the Appendix appear in the same format as in the fourth edition of the Lectures, now in preparation. The theory of gravitation has had one mistake in logic deleted and has been corrected.

I agree with you about the title which you propose to substitute for Out of My Later Years. If you have not yet received from me a copy of my book, write to me, please, and I will send you one.

Concerning the question of Statistics against Determinism, this is the way it appears: From the point of view of immediate experience there is no such thing as exact determinism. Here there is no disagreement. The question is whether or not the theoretical description of nature must be deterministic. Beyond that, the question is whether or not there exists generally a conceptual image of reality (for the isolated case), an image which is in principle completely exempt from statistics. Only on this subject do opinions differ.

With cordial regards

Your        

A. Einstein

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July 10, 1950

Dear Solovine,

I received your letter of June 30 and agree to all your proposals. The matter of spectral rays is of course explained by the fact that I had nothing at all do with the publication of my essays and the publishers had no notion of the subject. I am curious to learn just how far our opinions on religion differ. I can not imagine how, basically, our opinions could be widely divergent. If that is the way it appears, I probably failed to express myself clearly.

Personally I am getting along well, though my sister has retrogressed, without suffering much, however.

The next edition of the Appendix is still being held up because I can find no completely satisfactory proof for the compatibility of the new field equations. Hence the delay.

With my cordial greetings,

Your        

A. E.        

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January 1, 1951

Dear Solovine,

Many thanks for your detailed letter of December 7. Here are the answers to your questions:

The militarization of Germany came about shortly after 1848 following the rise of Prussia, where militarization had a much earlier beginning. I believe that one century is the best rough designation of the length of the process.

Conclusion of the article on Kepler: The remark will draw attention to this psychological and historically interesting point. Kepler did reject the astrology of his era but still promoted the idea that the existence of rational astrology is entirely possible. This is not so extraordinary, for the positing of causal animistic connections, which is almost always characteristic of primitive man, is not unreasonable in itself, and was given up only gradually by science under the pressure of systematically acquired data. Kepler’s research doubtless contributed much to the process, which developed as a harsh inner struggle in his mind.

I can well understand your aversion to the use of the word “religion” when what is meant is an emotional or psychological attitude, which is most obvious in Spinoza. I have found no better expression than “religious” for confidence in the rational nature of reality insofar as it is accessible to human reason. Wherever this feeling is absent, science degenerates into uninspired empiricism. For all I care, the parsons can make capital of it. Anyway, nothing can be done about it.

I can not concur in you opinion concerning science and ethics or the determination of aims. What we call science has the sole purpose of determining what is. The determining of what ought to be is unrelated to it and can not be accomplished methodically. Science can only arrange ethical propositions logically and furnish the means for the realization of ethical aims, but the determination of aims is beyond its scope. At least that is the way I see it. But if you do not agree with me, I respectfully ask, which imbecility should find a place in the book, yours or mine?

With cordial greetings and best wishes for 1951.

Your     

A. Einstein

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February 12, 1951

Dear Solovine,

In the German text I wrote “limited” in the sense of “not too common.”

The editorial mix-up is unfortunate, for Flammarion is in possession of a contract which I negligently let slip through (my friend and collaborator Infeld is looking into it now); the extent to which Flammarion is entitled to publication rights is still in doubt. I hope that you have been paid for the translation, which was marked by so many difficulties. If so, publication matters little to me, to be truthful. Let the publishers arrange matters between themselves.

My sister’s affliction has naturally become increasingly severe in the interval, but she does not suffer from it directly. I myself can not complain of my health, although the effects of old age are making themselves felt. I do not come from a long-lived family, as you know.

The unified field theory has been brought to a conclusion. But it is hard to use it mathematically for, in spite of all the trouble I have gone to, I am not able to verify it in any way. This state of affairs will last for many more years, mainly because physicists have no understanding of logical and philosophical arguments.

Cordial regards,

Your        

A. Einstein

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March 23, 1951

Dear Solovine,

I thank you sincerely for your amiable letter and for the book by La Mettrie with your interesting Foreword. It is not easy to understand how cultured people of the 18th century found this book revolutionary. I read a part of it to my sister every evening. You would laugh if you could hear me stammer out the precious French sounds. The reader is also struck by the flowery rococo style, which contrasts so sharply with the heavy spirit of our time.

I sometimes wonder how Solo looks upon international political blunderings. Our outlook is probably different, for each is inclined to react most bitterly against what is close at hand.

All is well with us, but my sister’s condition has worsened in the inverval. She can scarcely pronounce an intelligible word, though her mind is still clear.

Cordial regards to you

Your        

A. Einstein

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March 29, 1951

Dear Solovine,

I am sending the correction herewith. I wrote my comments in German; if you do not understand them, write me again. I notice besides that even after the corrections the Appendix on the theory of gravitation is quite difficult to understand. It is more important for the subject to be intelligible than for the volume to appear as soon as possible.

I am very sorry about the package mix-up. Schiller’s “The Ring of Polycrates” comes to mind. Find out whether the so-called “Care” packages are subject to high duties too. You owe this whole blessing to Truman and his helpers.

There is no need for you to bother about the book after having been paid for the translation. I have no illusion of being able to better the world through this book, and it makes no difference to me whether the book appears later or not at all. In any case, I do not intend to be mixed up in it. If it is published, we can always bash our heads in over the portrait.

Schrödinger’s equation is wholly in order. E is a function of q and p alone. But Schrödinger’s function psi, formed from E, depends on the time t.

La Mettrie writes interestingly, though we were struck by his flowery rococo style. I read all of it to my sister. It is hard to understand how his contemporaries managed to find it so exciting.

With warmest greetings from all of us.

Your     

A. Einstein

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July 30, 1951

Dear Solovine,

I received your delightful card of July 16. The two innocent printing mistakes are insignificant in contrast with the diabolical machinations of men.

I must transmit to you the sad news that my dear sister was delivered from her horrible suffering by a gentle death four weeks ago. An acute aggravation of the arteriosclerosis of the brain was responsible for a slight fall resulting in a compound fracture of the right arm. This necessitated complete rest, which brought about an attack of pneumonia accompanied by a high fever and loss of consciousness. Death came in about ten days. Up until the accident, I used to read to her every evening, so long as her intellectual stamina— with the exception of remembrance of new impressions—was relatively unimpaired. I am sure that you will remember the good soul kindly.

We bear many afflictions unflinchingly, but Spinoza’s precarious God has made our task more difficult than our forefathers suspected.

With cordial regards,

Your        

A. Einstein

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March 30, 1952

Dear Solovoine,

As always, I was delighted by your last letter. As for the changes proposed by you, I am in complete agreement.

Carl Seelig is a good man. But he takes the task that he has undertaken far too seriously, alas, with the result that he bothers everyone. Tell him whatever you think best and pass over whatever you wish in silence. For it is not always good to be presented to the public nude—or rather neuter. Make your decisions but do not communicate them to me, for I do not wish to be mixed up, even indirectly, in this affair. I did of course answer a few positive requests.

Now I come to the most interesting point in your letter. You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori one should expect a chaotic world which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way. One could (yes one should) expect the world to be subjected to law only to the extent that we order it through our intelligence. Ordering of this kind would be like the alphabetical ordering of the words of a language. By contrast, the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for instance, is wholly different. Even if the axioms of the theory are proposed by man, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the “miracle” which is being constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.

There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.” Oddly enough, we must be satisfied to acknowledge the “miracle” without there being any legitimate way for us to approach it. I am forced to add that just to keep you from thinking that—weakened by age—I have fallen pray to the parsons.

All of us here are well, including Margot who, thanks to her operation, has developed more resistance. In the elaboration of the nonsymmetrical field theory I have found an important complement which determines the general equations of the field a priori just as the simple principle of relativity determined the equations of gravitation.

With warmest regards to you both.

Your

A. E.

I do not intend to go to Europe again in order to avoid being the central figure in a monkey farce. Besides, everything today is so close to each of us that there is less justification than ever for chasing after it.

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May 7, 1952

Dear Solovine,

In your letter you blame me for having committed two sins. First, for having taken an uncritical attitude regarding the plan for a world government. You always look upon it, not as undesirable, but as something that cannot be realized in the near future. You give good reasons to prove that it can not be realized. You might have added as still another good reason the fear that the world government would be more unbearable and especially more unjust that the present state of anarchy. Just think of the benefits brought to Korea by the United Nations! But on the other hand, humanity faces the danger of self-annihilation, something which should weigh down on us. For that reason we should withdraw (though hesitantly) the “undesirable.”

As for the “impossible,” this much can be said: it becomes “possible” if men seriously will it, even if this is brought about solely by their fear of living in an unbearable state of insecurity. We must exert every effort to create this desire. The effort will be worthwhile even if the aim is not achieved, for it will certainly have some educational merit in that it will be directed against stupid, heinous nationalism.

You say that we should start by training the young people to examine historical events objectively. Only in this way could we hope to realize anything in politics. But this is a chicken-and-egg relationship or a vicious circle. The chicken is the political situation and the egg is rational training. Since the skein offers no loose end to enable us to unravel it, we simply have to make every possible attempt and not lose our courage.

But if every effort fails and men end by destroying themselves, the universe will not shed a single tear for them. It would still be good, however, if the book could at least appear first and be placed on sale.

As for the epistemological question, you completely misunderstood me; I probably expressed myself badly. I see the matter schematically in this way:

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(1) The E’s (immediate experiences) are our data.

(2) The axioms from which we draw our conclusions are indicated by A. Psychologically the A’s depend on the E’s. But there is no logical route leading from the E’s to the A’s, but only an intuitive connection (psychological), which is always “re-turning.”

(3) Logically, specific statements S, S′, S″ are deduced from A; these statements can lay claim to exactness.

(4) The A’s are connected to the E’s (verification through experience). Closer examination shows that this procedure also belongs to the extralogical (intuitive) sphere, for the relation between the notions show up in S and the immediate experiences are not logical in nature.

But the relation between S’s and E’s is (pragmatically) much less certain than the relation between the A’s and the E’s. (Take the notion “dog” and the corresponding immediate experiences.) If such a relationship could not be set up with a high degree of certainty (though it may be beyond the reach of logic), logical machinery would have no value in the “comprehension of reality” (example: theology).

What this all boils down to is the eternally problematical connection between the world of ideas and that which can be experienced (immediate experiences of the senses).

The work for the de Broglie anniversary volume will be translated into French by scholars there. But its contents will be a heresy of the worst order for the people. I can not send it to you until it is printed.

We are all well, but my capacity for work has lessened perceptibly; even that has its good side.

Warmest regards to you.

Your

A. E.

Seelig is a likeable man, to judge by his behavior and without knowing him personally.

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November 17, 1952

Dear Solovine,

I did not take the translation of the book of collected essays half so seriously as you. Your English expression for conductors of electricity is probably better than the one used on page 234. The word “report” on p. 111 means “communicate.” It is possible that the English expression is not adequate, but I think that its meaning will be understood.

Dr. Lowe is fine. He is now in Europe (Switzerland) and will certainly visit you when he is in Paris.

You must not complain about the imbecilities and mistakes of your compatriots. It would be too much to expect them to be an exception to all the others. Mine are getting a workout in philosophy by asking themselves why they are not especially loved in Europe. Everything would really be comical if we were not altogether at the mercy of the rabble.

I myself have just gotten rid of phlebitis, which normally shows up in pregnant women. Now we are all, until something new develops, in good health.

Our academic “Olympia” was glorified and escorted to immortality by good old Seelig, as it deserved to be. But the master could not bring our high-spirited evenings back to life—alas!

In the meantime warmest greetings to you and your wife.

Your      

A. Einstein

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To the immortal Olympia academy,

In your short active existence you took a childish delight in all that was clear and reasonable. Your members created you to amuse themselves at the expense of your big sisters who were older and puffed up with pride. I learned fully to appreciate just how far they had hit upon the true through careful observations lasting for many long years.

We three members, all of us at least remained steadfast. Though somewhat decrepit, we still follow the solitary path of our life by your pure and inspiring light; for you did not grow old and shapeless along with your members like a plant that goes to seed.

To you I swear fidelity and devotion until my last learned breath! From one who hereafter will be only a corresponding member,

A. E.                               

Princeton, April 3, 1953

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April 23, 1953

Dear Solovine,

First let me thank you for your grandiloquent answer to my academic message. Your answer would have done honor to the court of Frederick II.

If Gauthier-Villars wants to put the three publications mentioned into one volume for republication, I have no objection. Nor am I opposed to the publication of the popular book. I am sending you my only copy of the original German edition (which I wish you would return as soon as you can). Second, I am sending you a press copy of the last edition, which contains some additions; and third, a copy of an Appendix which I wrote, in German of course, for the new English edition, which is to appear soon. Please return the German text after you have finished the translation, assuming, naturally, that you like this treatise.

I was duly pleased by the newspaper reports. I was deeply moved by your having taken the trouble to copy one of them for me. In one of the articles the sad feeling of loneliness is attributed, amusingly enough, to old age instead of to youth.

With my cordial greetings

Your        

A. Einstein

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May 28, 1953

Dear Solo,

I had to laugh on learning that we sent you such a sadly incomplete copy of my old book. I have no copy at all now, so that I could not fully appreciate your corrections. That you propose to saw for me the steps which conscientious teachers make their pupils run up and down is disconcerting, though the picture is amusing. I cannot approve of the remark on the subject of the pole in space. There I want to replace abstract and nebulous “space,” as directly and also as simply as possible (fixed bodies), with something which has meaning, from the point of view of experience, and that is why one should not use an optical expedient.

Strictly speaking, one cannot reduce geometry to “fixed” bodies which, actually, do not exist—without taking into account the fact that fixed bodies should not be looked upon as being divisible ad infinitum. Similarly, the supposition that bodies used as standards do not influence objects (supposition which cannot be given a fixed meaning) is itself unjustified. Concepts can never be derived logically from experience and be above criticism. But for didactic and also heuristic purposes such a procedure is inevitable. Moral: Unless one sins against logic, one generally gets nowhere; or, one cannot build a house or construct a bridge without using a scaffold which is really not one of its basic parts.

I am going to send you the new edition of the book Meaning of Relativity, which contains the new revision of the theory of gravitation. It is of course an attempt at a theory of the whole field; but I did not wish to give it such a pretentious title, for I am not yet sure that physical truth is at the bottom of it. But from the point of view of a deductive theory, it may be perfect (economy of independent notions and hypotheses). That no one can make a definite statement about its confirmation or non-confirmation results from the fact that there are no methods of affirming anything with respect to solutions that do not yield to the peculiarities of such a complicated non-linear system of equations. It is even possible that no one will ever know. Theories that have gradually developed around what can be observed, however, have led to an intolerable accumulation of independent suppositions. In his last popular book, de Broglie gave a very good description of the situation. I recently received the English edition; the French edition is certainly even better.

Warmest wishes

Your       

A. E.       

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August 15, 1953

Dear Solovine,

It seems that, under pressure of correspondence, I forgot to answer your letter of June 15. I can answer your first question by saying that, with respect to an accelerated system, the coordinates can not be interpreted in such a way as to make the differences in the coordinates equal the differences in length corresponding to differences in time as measured by rulers and clocks. This becomes clear in the cases where the system of coordinates is uniformly accelerated with respect a system of inertia, or rotates uniformly. That is why, in conformity with the theory of relativity, the field of gravitation is at the same time a term for the metrical structure of space-time.

When Riemann’s condition is “satisfied,” then the equations for gravitation must also be “satisfied.” In other words, the equations for the field of gravitation are a specialization of Riemann’s condition.

You may keep the German manuscript of the Memoir as long as you need it. Naturally, I agree with your proposals concerning revision.

It seems to me that you are not only my only faithful translator, but also my only truly observant reader.

With my cordial greetings

Your        

A. Einstein

P.S. I am glad that the French people have not neglected to show their thick-headed leaders where God sits.

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October 14, 1953

Dear Solovine,

Bravo! I thank you for your valiant intercession in favor of my pocketbook. Now you can say with Caesar: Veni, vidi, vici!

In answer to your first question: “Disappears” seems to me to be an exact translation of the expression verloren geht. The other expressions, sich nicht eignet and nicht angebracht, are contradictory. Nicht möglich ist would not be clear enough; it would have to be nicht mehr möglich ist. But verloren geht seems better to me.

Your remarks about the notion of physikalischer Inhalt, which you correctly translate as “physical content” seem conclusive to me. The only question that arises is whether a more detailed exposition would not make comprehension more difficult rather than easier. On the one hand, Euclidian geometry is manifestly the expression of primitive experiences with sticks, strings, and rays of light. On the other hand, these objects fail to correspond exactly to geometric concepts. For reasons of simplicity, I left out the last consideration in the place mentioned by you. Now, can this lack of precision be justified by the the didactic advantages gained in that passage? Opinions can be different on this point. I think it can.

In reply to you inquiry, I can state that, considering my advanced age, I am fine, as is Margot, considering her congenital bad luck. Miss Dukas is enjoying the best of health, with no reservations.

Hoping that the same holds true for both of you, I am with cordial greetings,

Your,

A. E.

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November 25, 1953

Dear Solo,

I am extremely sorry that you have had to go to so much trouble. Lowe sent a note to you, as he told me recently, but the notice obviously went astray. Perhaps the old carrier pigeon confused your address with another.

It is hard for me to pass on the corrections since I do not know the context. This might be it:

“…that electrostatics correctly accounts for electrical effects only when the electrical masses are at rest with respect to a system of inertia.”

As for the first passage mentioned by you, it is even more difficult for me to decide. In speaking of geometry, “content” or “capacity” are more correct than “origin,” for the reference is not to the history but to the nature of the thing, which is independent of time.

My sincere apologies for the regrettable mistake. Let us know soon that everything is again in order.

My very best to both of you.

Your

A. E.

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February 27, 1955

Dear Solovine,

The exorbitant price now attached to my life’s work on many occasions also has its more pleasant aspects. A certain sum of money, for instance, has been placed at the disposal of a committee set up here to help refugee scholars; this money is not subject to the same restrictions as other emergency funds but is spent at my discretion. I know that you are tormented by an eye ailment, very common at our age, which makes it difficult for you to work and which can be eliminated by an operation that is frequently performed. I can think of no more worthy use of the funds than to offer them to a man who like you, has grown pallid under the stress of constant intellectual labor, in order to preserve his capacity for work.

Write me about this by return mail. Tell me how the payments can best be made, in a lump sum or periodically, and above all, what sum, without any reservations, can really be of help to you. The payment will then be made in Paris by the sister institution of the local committee, and in this way there will be no confusion.

I have just recovered from a rather serious anemic condition, thanks to medical science. The old cart is again in running condition, but the head is a little rusty—the devil counts out the years conscientiously, we must admit.

I have finally managed to introduce another noteworthy improvement into the theory of the gravitational field (theory of the nonsymmetrical field). But not even these simplified equations can be verified by the facts as yet because of mathematical difficulties.

Warmest greetings to you and your wife.

Your        

A. Einstein

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