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Dr. Albert Einstein: Theoretical Physics, Relativity and the Photoelectric Effect, 1935


The following is a translation of a 2-page letter from Dr. Einstein to Dr. McClenahan, signed "A. Einstein" (in German), dated April 29, 1935.

Princeton, NJ April 29, 1935
2 Library Place

Mr. Howard McClenahan
The Franklin Institute
Philadelphia, PA

Dear Mr. McClenahan,

I was very sorry that exactly on the day of your friendly visit I had to be away from Princeton. If you had written earlier, that would not have happened.

It is very kind of you, that you wish to pick me up on May 15th at 11:00AM. Your most kind invitation to lunch puts me in an awkward position because about a month ago I was invited to lunch on May 15th by Dr. Jacob Billikopf (316 Bankers Trust Building, Philadelphia) which I accepted. If your invitation is of an official nature then of course I can cancel with Mr. Billikopf and I am sure he would understand. However if my presence at this function is not really required then I would prefer to keep my appointment with Mr. Billikopf. Perhaps the easiest solution would be if you would phone Mr. Billikopf and decide with him which appointment I should keep.

I am prepared to adapt to either situation and thank you for clarifying this matter.

Unfortunately I haven't gotten around to coming up with an appropriate essay for this festive occasion; composing an essay does not just hinge of the true goodwill of the writer but equally and especially on the blessings of the Gods.

My wife was also very happy to be invited to this party. However she cannot leave here because on that exact day our lease will expire and our rented house must return to its owner and then we will immediately all need to travel to Bermuda.

Thanking you for all your kindness, I remain with highest regards,
A. Einstein