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

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HYDE PARK, Sunday—In talking with the Polish Minister of Labor and Welfare, the other afternoon, I received the same picture of Poland that one gets in talking to people who have been working for relief and rehabilitation in Greece, Yugoslavia and other European countries. Italy sounds almost as badly off. Some of the stories from France and Holland are equally pitiful.

How can we work to have the needs of these countries really understood? This generation of children will be tomorrow's citizens, and the scars left from starvation and illness will affect the whole history of the world. The Polish Minister said that it was not unusual, as he went to work on winter mornings, to find people lying frozen to death on the ground or in doorways. In a certain part of Poland where there has been great destruction, 800,000 people have no shelter and live literally in foxholes. He said a well-fed people might resist the cold and hardships, but people who were reduced by lack of food can not stand up under the attacks of illness or under great cold. Needless to say, they can do none of the work which is needed to rehabilitate the country.

I have great respect for this man because he was in London and could have stayed away from all of these hardships; but he went back and faced them and decided to work with his compatriots, not just for them.

* * *

Friday I spent in Philadelphia, speaking in the morning at a meeting of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Two very good addresses were given, one by Professor Goodrich on the ILO, and one by Arthur Sweetser on the interim period between the League of Nations and the United Nations. Mr. Switzer's talk was comprehensive and authoritative, and his judgment on the changes and improvements which had been made is highly valuable, since no one has been more closely connected with the League and the efforts to build for peace.

Then I attended a woman's lunch for the Jewish Welfare Fund. The increase in gifts over last year showed an appreciation of the misery of the remaining Jews in Europe which I wish could be duplicated by every group in this country in considering the whole European and Asiatic problem.

* * *

Between lunch and dinner I was called for by Samuel Brown, the colored artist whose painting of "The Scrub Woman" had appealed to me many years ago in a WPA exhibition in the Corcoran Art Gallery. He has come a long way since those days, and a series of water colors done in Mexico last summer have real charm. Mr. Brown teaches in a vocational high school but gives all of his spare time to painting.

In the evening I attended the very beautiful services at which Paul Manship's Memorial, made for Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, was dedicated. I am always deeply appreciative of these memorials, which, during the years to come, will keep before many people the thought of my husband and the things for which he stood.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]
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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 8, 1946

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.