To Michael (1933?)

From Karl Polanyi
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Text to translate from German into English


Dear brother,

both Mannheims and Szilard are trying to take care of my business; Sir Philip Hartog is on a trip to Palestine, his deputy is Makower, a technician and engineer; the other members of the committee are Cahn (King's College, Cambridge) Ginsberg, perhaps Gregory. Ernst Kahn also has an influence on the matter. Mannheim Julieka spoke with him yesterday, Julieka said it would be hard to get over my coming from Vienna, because the committee feared precedents: too many Austrians could only get in touch too soon... I will speak to Ernst Kahn personally tomorrow. He has suggested to J.M. that the Liverpooller attract a certain amount of anguish by raising further funds as a sign of their special interest in all of this: he believes that London would not cause any difficulties, even if it would provide part of the money. The day after day for the changing face of my prospects is more friendly again today, because all this looks like a rather relativistic treatment. Should Kahn confirm this impression, I intend to give Prof. Ad. Loewe to make a corresponding suggestion to Mr. Bertram B. Benas in Liverpool, to possibly ask Macmurray to make a similar move against Dr. Hetherington at Benas. Would it be right of me if I agreed to make material sacrifices myself, e.g. not to give 350 Pf. St. to peace, so that the victims would divide themselves conscientiously among all those involved? Such a step would seem rather dubious to me; I will never make such proposals unless I am, so to speak, encouraged to do so. From that point on, my suggestion was best characterized by the nature of the difficulties: for me, the most important thing today is the vocations to Liverpool.

Yesterday I met Ridney Wood from Board of Education, who wants to bring me together with Sir Walter Layton. The Austrian singer welcomed me with the greatest kindness and was very useful to me; I healed those wished by his recommendation.

Addresses inssemmt. My three-hour conversation with V.A. Demant, the scientific advisor of the Christian Social Council, was quite pricey; just as a presentation on Tuesday before the Archbishop of York's Committee.(Present were Sir Wyndham Deeds of the National Council of Social Service), Macmurray, Zoe Fairfield, Eleonora Iredale, for the Archbishops Committee, and J.H. Oldham, former Secretary of the Continuation Committee of the International Review of Missions, Peter Scott, the leader of the Christian unemployment settlements. All left of various treasures. I was almost the most conservative in the circle...).

Macmurray now declares that he is not worried about my exist in one year. Zoe told me today (for the first time) that she thinks I should stay in England, because the problems I am particularly concerned with here have high acrualism: problems of the workers movement (not: party), democracy, economy, ethics. (Did the book sent by Gaistkell arrive? Please send it urgently to me.)

Now another thing: In deepest discretion today I have been asked by Julieska Mannheim to ask you for a detailed factual, characteriological drawing of the person of Szilard. He is much hosted, the Mannheims know him much too well to cry to be able to clear up the many apparent contradictions of his character with force and effect. Their benevolence towards S. is perfect. But they don't understand him themselves. They have never succeeded in having a conversation with him. He gets some (or mostly) hostility, only because of outward appearances, because of his short traffic, which also reports to "personalities" to the detriment of the matter. What is desired is not a recommendation or a declaration of confidence but an explanation. Nobody misses his motives, his interests, his attitude. His disinterest awakens mistrust, nobody understands his "real" goals, i.e. one doubts them if he is honest. So there would be traits to be cleared up like: his abruptness with other knowledge of the world, his organizational activity and his stunting of his own knowledge ambition (by the way never called out that he as a scientist has a rank Ganz would be missed, as already said, a Panegyric, necessary is an analysis and dissolution, gewiseramassen a key to his personality and the overall appearance S. Defects, even mistakes should rather be admitted and related to the overall performance than denied or "explained away". Erswüncht would be this as friend achievement intended characteristic in German language and as soon as possible to address: M. Karl Mannheim. 2 Turner's Drive, Golders Green, London N.W. 11.

For me as a person I consider S. to be one of the rare phenomena that can be judged positively to a high degree, which consists of the fact that their qualities are difficult to assimilate and decompose in the present economic order. He is what he seems: an idealist devoted to the cause. But since his consciousness is materialistic, experimental, agnostic, he understands himself as little as the world understands him. I respect and treasure him.

Yours sincerely love you.


I thank Magda for her hospitality with all my the heart. (Unabichlicy I packed a small stationery pad, and not unintentionally, but because it was not otherwise possible, I had a talk with London 4/6 d.)

Letter Informations

Src: MPP
Original Letter: An Michael

Lge Name
FR A Michael