Relatively long wait

July 29, 2005

Arthur Miller's article on Arthur Eddington (Features, July 15) is excellent on the Anglo-Saxon reception of news of the verification on November 7, 1919, of Einstein's theory. But this contrasts with the more knowledgeable and unsensational German reception. There, the intelligent lay public had been prepared for the news by articles in newspaper Vossische Zeitung in April and July 1919 and a learned article by Max Born in the Frankfurter Zeitung on November 2.

The commonly believed statement by author R. W. Clark that "Einstein awoke in Berlin on the morning of November 7, 1919, to find himself famous" is incorrect. It was not until after the first sensational German account in the Berliner Illustrirte of December 14, 1919, that Einstein found himself famous in Germany. The story shows pre-Hitler Germany at its best.

Lewis Elton
University College London

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