On page 326 of his 2008 book, Jeremy Gray writes matter-of-factly that Albert Einstein "found he got a better hearing from Hilbert and Klein in Göttingen than he did from his colleagues in Berlin". What is the background that would explain such a difference of attitude toward Einstein's work?
There were a number of chemists in the Prussian Academy of Sciences, most notably Nernst and Fischer. They had hoped that Einstein would engage in atomic theory and bring about a better understanding of chemical processes. However, according to Jürgen Neffe's Einstein biography, nothing came of it. A new theory of gravitation was the least thing they were interested in. Quite contrary to David Hilbert, who from 1912 on worked on a unified theory of gravitation and electromagnetism: http://www.tau.ac.il/~corry/publications/articles/pdf/mie.pdf