The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt


WASHINGTON, Friday—At the moment, certain actions of American Communists in this country have added fuel to the general fear of Communism as an international force.

Earl Browder has been reprimanded for an attitude which many of us believed had represented the attitude of the Soviet government.

We, in this country, feel that any nation has a right within its own borders to the kind of government it feels best meets the needs of the people. It is only when those beliefs begin to encroach on other nations and on other people, and to endanger their free beliefs and actions by attempting to propagandize them, either openly or secretly, that fear is awakened. The next step, we have learned through the rise of Fascism, is to try by force to push upon the rest of the world the beliefs which your particular nation holds. That is what we, including the Soviet Union, have had to fight, and the war has been a long, cruel war.

It frightens us to see any group in our midst proposing to propagandize instead of cooperating where possible and letting people think and act for themselves. This might lead to war at home and abroad. Therefore, the French Communist leader and the American Communists who encourage a policy of world revolution have done the peace of the world harm.

* * *

The American Communist party had been cooperative where they could be. But now, as we understand it, they are out to force Communism on our democracy. That we will not tolerate.

I am not afraid of the Communists in the United States. They are a very small group, and my feeling has always been that as long as the needs of our people are met by our own form of government, democracy need have no fear of the growth of other ideas, either in the field of economics or of government.

As a people, we are not afraid of the Soviet Union. We feel kindly toward the Soviet people. Our soldiers admire them, and so do our people generally, for the way they have fought in the war. We do not understand them very well, nor do we understand their problems or their real feelings about things which affect us deeply. That understanding can only come gradually, as we get to know each other better, and we cannot know each other unless we live in a peaceful world.

* * *

The sooner we clear up authoritatively this whole situation of the Communist party outside of the Soviet Union, the better chance we will have for peace in the future. The Russian people should know this, and so should the people of the United States. If they both demand a clarification of a situation which may grow until it endangers peace in the world, responsible people will have to listen. Light may break on what now seems a situation through which all the people who want to make trouble between the United States and the Soviet Union can do so.

E. R.


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 9, 1945

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.