Letter from Edmund Husserl written 16.11.1918

Freiburg i.B., Lorettostr. 40


Dear Friend,

            This time, I will not make you wait for a reply.5 Three days ago, I received your sincere letter from the 4th that I found very delighting. Thank you for your kind words regarding my recovery and my son’s latest injury. The latter is also in convalescence (in Jena). Unfortunately, we are cut off from him; travel has become impossible (my wife only made it to Frankfurt with great difficulty). I recovered slowly from a very bad case of the flu and had a high fever for 2.5 weeks. I have not yet returned to work full-time, but the sad external conditions are probably the main reason for that. I do not want to go into greater detail unless I am firmly convinced that Germany’s military collapse and the revolution will only be a transitional phase leading to a new, more beautiful epoch of German history. That the old regime has failed, which has failed in every respect, is probably one of those historical necessities that carries their wisdom. I do not think it can ever be resurrected. There will be a new Germany and in it, a new culture. I believe in the upsurge of pure idealism, which the youth longs for, and I hope that it will instill practical reason in the conditions of internal and external politics. It is impossible to stand above the misery of these times unless on the wings of ideas, and that is what everyone, the people, feels. Hopefully, the circumstances in your nation will also develop into a true blessing in the ideal sense. It would be an unfortunate anachronism if, in the new Poland, political and chauvinist after-ideals were the determining factors and would be godfathers to the new birth of state-consolidated national life. I think that the new Germany and the new Poland will become good neighbors and hopefully they will soon forge a friendship.

            I am very pleased to hear that you are continuing your fruitful work. You probably have edited your doctoral thesis thoroughly objectively and linguistically. It is important to me that you are properly introduced in the Yearbook and in the world of researchers who are interested in phenomenology. Professor Twardowski’s request is greatly appreciated. Now you have the opportunity to educate the Polish philosophical audience on the latest aspirations of the phenomenological movement and that this is the unum necessarium. I would appreciate it if you could, as discussed earlier, review the sixth Logical In[vestigations] for me and make the necessary terminological and substantive adjustments to the five investigations of the second edition. I would be very thankful for your help and this would allow me to reprint in 1919. Do I remember correctly that you organized materials for an index for Ideas I? Miss Walther worked on an index during the summer holidays and Mr. Clauss was going to help, too.

            Miss Stein moved to Wroclaw to be closer to her aging mother during these exciting and eventful times. I truly miss the interactions with my older students! What a pity that we cannot discuss your certainly beautiful philosophical topics in person!

            I hope you are doing well. Try not to overextend yourself and continue to enjoy your phenom[enological] work.

            Sincerely, your old teacher,

E. Husserl (and my wife too!)