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Christoph Marx
Schulstrasse 17
4436 Oberdorf,

November 28, 1977

 
Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky
78 Hartley Avenue
Princeton, N.J. 08540

Dear Velikovsky:

Let me first thank you for your advice on the telephone, and by cable. I have acted on it, primarily by clearing the objections you mentioned? secondly on my thorough conviction of being intimately familiar now with our Continental aspirations, available opportunities and possible infringements; and thirdly by my sincere desire to initiate a sound and powerful new basis toward your success in the Old World. My decision to come to terms with Umschau then was rather strengthened by your telegram of the 21st (telling of setbacks in the U.S.); and it could not have been reverted to after reception of your last one by the 23rd.

Let me present the details: –

(1) Sequence of publishing the Ages series. Europa Verlag, as you know, had become guilty of selling Zeitalter im Chaos to second hand trade at ridiculous conditions. There are still some of these books in the shops, and obviously any publisher reprinting the title at a new and proper price now would appear rather silly! The market for Ages I may be developed again only by making it the required companion to the other volumes. I have therefore not just agreed to this publishing sequence, but indeed supported it. I feel even further supported by the importance of the supplement to Peoples of the Sea as a perfect link to Worlds In Collision and a vindication for any serious scholar to look at your evidence.

(2) Requirement to publish. As perhaps you remember, the law of Continental Countries is codified in all respects. Thus practically all necessary requirements in our case are already part of the law, under the title “Verlagsvertrag”, of which I am sending you the appropriate commentary. A publisher cannot make a contract without being bound to publish in adequate editions. This already resolves one of your main objections!

(3) Indeed, keeping these provisions in mind, the contract may be substantially shorter than the one you have, e.g., with Doubleday. Put into similar small print, our text now with Umschau would read a third of their page only. And a further improvement I have been able to introduce you will find under (8), namely the rights falling back in case the publisher (e.g. by selling the company) is changing his whole image. Such provisions you donít have in your other contracts!

(4) I am satisfied we are not favouring Nazi sympathizers on three grounds:

a) On page 30 of the reprinted Börsenblatt article I sent you, the first sentence mentions a contract by the American Forces to print a Germany Book for the GIs. As this occurred immediately after the armistice in 1945, the American Administration must have been quite sure of a non-, if not an anti-Nazi environment.

b) The whole management, together with Mr. Curths, the lector, are of the young generation, having been born in the late thirties or even during the war.

c) Neither the older scientific nor the popular catalogues show any Nazi titles. With everybody else just now jumping at anything related to Hitler- and Reich- “history” it would be quite hard even to find somebody as steady.

(5) Temple’s Sirius book, I understand, was the first result of expanding into alternative scientific views. True, experience and expertise may have been lacking. But on the other hand, Mr. Curths without Temple’s index would not have heard of you? and secondly, it is not at all easy to find alternative science books in the German market, as the standard your work is setting in the English speaking world is lacking here completely. But the Sirius title at least had the merit of experiencing a book on Der Spiegel’s bestseller list. I would also gather, that with any new book Temple may now be confronted with arguments drawn from your own work. Meanwhile I feel hurt much more seriously by the policy of your American publisher Doubleday, and what I imagine their salesmen are saying when selling the Krupp title.

(6) Earth in Upheaval in its suggested new form is the book “of stimulating wonders” I would like to see motivating students and laymen alike to find the problems’ solutions in your other works. It puts the questions, and it must do so not only in writing, but equally well in pictures, graphs, and tables. It will appear more comprehensive, though even perhaps without or including a more timely appendix. Umschau have absolutely perfect equipment to produce all necessary art work (to be used in lectures and courses later, tool), and we shall therefore get a perfect book in every sense. What I will do, however, after we have agreed to the layout and picture material, is to contact the other publishers in the hope of producing it in several languages at the same time. This is commonly being done nowadays to keep down costs and sell at advantageous prices. There is no question, of course, of Umschau publishing without our approval, as you will see from the contract.

(7) I hold that the rights to the German translations have to be viewed preclusively according to the clause in Europa Verlag’s last contract, where all rights fall back to you. According to my correspondence I am enclosing, all they do not agree to is to compensate you by giving us the rest of their Oedipus stock, knowing well they will now be able to clear it because of the re-edition of the other works. Thus if anything is still open at all, it’s the question of recompensating you.

(8) Perhaps I have relied too firmly on your pledge to come to terms with Doubleday with regard to Oedipus’ foreign rights. However, I do not consider this single problem as being really detrimental, and I would tackle it when the time comes to find the solution, if you have not done so already.

(9) There is one point I had to surrender, however, of which I know not to find your support: even the most serious scientific books in Germany are now being printed with all notes collected after the main text. It will be impossible for us to deviate from this custom, which has probably resulted from production costs on the one hand, and the view that reading is easier when not interrupted by reading notes on the other. To which I disagree completely on both counts, but on which I could not jeopardize an otherwise excellent contract. I’m sorry, nevertheless. –

(10) I have legally signed the agreement as your proxy within the frame of German and Swiss law. At this point I again wish to thank you for the powers you have entrusted to me, which I consider as a wide obligation toward you and your family. I realize the difficulty of continually finding the golden mean between not burdening you with too many details? with problems peculiar to Continental circumstances; or with questions you do not immediately wish to answer, and coming to decisions being called for because the proper moment has come; the most appropriate conditions have been reached; and the stage is set to display still more important efforts.

Though the Umschau contract does not deviate from your other agreements - except when improving on them - I would of course still be glad to have your comments on anything you would think needs further elucidation. The most immediate questions on my mind, however, are now (1) whether you wish to have a new preface (perhaps we could use the one you wrote for Earth in Upheaval?); and (2) having ready in time a short but impressive table on the success of your advance claims to include with Welten IM Zusammenstoss. Would you let me know at a very early moment?

Best wishes and friendly regards, yours

Marx



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