JANUARY 29, 1943
WASHINGTON, Thursday—I spent yesterday evening at the Jewish Community Center USO Club. They are inaugurating a series of Wednesday evening programs dedicated to the Allied Nations. Last evening was the opening night. Lord Halifax, the British Ambassador, spoke, and then some British movies, descriptive of the life of the people in Great Britain and their total war effort, were shown. I was glad to tell them a little of my own experiences.
Even from pictures, it is hard to realize what it means for a whole nation to unite as completely as they have done in Great Britain in fighting this war. It is so far away from us that we still have very little notion of what a completely mobilized nation can accomplish.
China, of course, knows, and Russia knows. Someone who has just returned from Russia, was telling me the other day what extraordinary work the women there are doing, often the type of hard labor which we associate with strong men. Again it is a question of necessity driving them.
I remember that my eldest son told me long ago how much impressed he was in China that, because of the lack of machinery, people had to do the work which we think only machines can accomplish. Fortunately, these countries, where they have had less opportunity for industrial development, have populations capable of meeting this kind of emergency.
A first hand story of what someone has seen is always so much more real than something that one reads. I hope that as people come back from Russia and China, they will tour the country and tell us in person what they have observed.
When I was in Red Bank, N.J., the other day, they were using their USO program to serve the girls and women, most of them civilians who have come to work in the Signal Corps laboratory from all parts of the country. Again, last night, I found that girl government workers here formed the corps of hostesses for the USO group I was with, and the club house was also open to men government workers.
I am very glad to see this done because it brings together the servicemen and the other workers in the war effort and gives them all a feeling that they are functioning together to achieve one aim.
We are also attracting men and women to many of these USO centers, who are over here from Allied countries, and that, I think, is a help. It gives us a feeling of unity in our common struggle, which I hope will encourage friendships which will be the foundation on which to build the future peace.