Volume 17 covers the period June 1929 to November 1930. This is the last 18-month period in his life that Einstein resides substantially in Berlin. As of December 1930, when he arrives in the US to spend an academic term at Caltech in Pasadena, Einstein will essentially be preparing his exit from Germany. In the meantime, he attends a Zionist Congress in Geneva in August 1929, and visits Paris for a week in November, and travels to Leiden and later to Cambridge, England, in June 1930, where he receives an honorary doctorate, and to Nottingham.
Einstein continues his participation in the meetings of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation, in the Solvay Congress on magnetism in Brussels, attends the opening session of the British parliament in October 1930 and, on his return trip, visits with queen and king of the Belgians.
Amidst these peregrinations, Einstein works on new approaches to the unified field theory and engages a new collaborator, Walther Mayer. He likes to spend most of his time at the new summer house in Caputh near Potsdam, where his youngest son Eduard now visits him from Zurich. His international and anti-war activities proliferate. He is called upon to formulate, and express, complex views on the violence against both Arabs and Jews that plagues Palestine in 1929. He declares himself in favor of women’s rights to abortion, and men’s right to refuse the draft. And he gets into trouble on the matter of telepathy, automatic writing, graphology, and the merits of Anglic, a newly proposed universal language, over the fashionable and popular Esperanto.