APRIL 16, 1943
WASHINGTON, Thursday—On Tuesday night I went to the dinner given in Washington by the Friends of German Freedom. This dinner had as its main object, the strengthening of the labor movements of the occupied countries, particularly in Germany.
In many of these countries, the only non-Fascist organization that will exist when the war comes to an end, will be whatever leaders or organizations have been kept alive within the labor group. I think it is important that we, in this country, do all we possibly can to recognize these groups and to strengthen them now and in the future.
In every Axis country, there will undoubtedly be people awaiting the United Nations at the end of the war, who have experience in running industry and large scale agriculture, and who have been active during the past few years because of their willingness not to protest against Fascist control. They may sometimes seem to be the only available material for organization, unless we make it a point to look for those who have led labor in the past.
Since this is to be the century of the common man, there must be a partnership between those who work with their hands and those who work with their heads. They must all insist on their common interest because they are the workers of the world. They are the mass of people who must control their governments in order to have a chance to build a better life throughout the world.
There is no real cleavage between the intellectual and manual contribution, if in both cases the dignity of labor well done is the badge of glory. There is no reason why the workers as a whole cannot join hands in every nation and understand each other and make the future a time of greater opportunity.
On the 13th, there opened in New York City, a film called "Desert Victory," shortly to be released all over the country. This is an extraordinary picture which was shown to the President here some time ago. It is the actual picture of the battle of El Alamein and no one who sees it will lack an understanding of what war is like in the North African sector. Terrible as I found it in spots, I still hope that everybody will go to see it, and come away wanting to do all they possibly can to back up the men who are doing such magnificent fighting.
Two young men from our son Elliott's unit have turned up here in the last two days. I was very happy to see them, for it does give one a sense of being not quite so far away when they tell you that just a week ago they have seen your son.