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

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HARTFORD, Conn., Wednesday—There is an American Relief for France Committee at 1720 Eye Street, N.W. Washington, D. C. They send out instruction sheets to anyone anywhere in the country, telling how to wrap and ship boxes to individuals anywhere in France, and they hope that this will become a national movement.

On the back of one of their instruction sheets there is a poem by Katherine W. Dunlap which might have been written by almost any of the people in Europe who are now struggling to live. Here are the last four lines:

"We, the survivors of these tragic years,
Must face the burden of our legacy—
Left us in trust by those whose faith was great;
Who saw beyond the stars and died in hope."

It is true that they must do their part, but it is also true that they cannot do their part unless we do ours—and ours means supplying them with food, clothes, tools, and a sense that we really care what happens to them.

* * *

Anyone who read Judge Simon H. Rifkind's recent report to Gen. Joseph T. McNarney must have a clearer vision of the conditions under which the Jewish group in Europe are now existing. Judge Rifkind has been special adviser on Jewish affairs to Gen. McNarney, the European theatre commander.

He estimates that, in Germany and Austria, the Jewish survivors at present number about 100,000, and he feels that the sooner they are permanently settled somewhere and rehabilitated, the better it will be. They wish to quit Europe; many of them wish to go to Palestine. The longer the final decision of where they can go is held up, the harder it is for them.

One thing he notes seems extraordinary to me. That is "the use of German police in persecutee centers." He points out that this "is not promotive of order. Careful screening would produce good ex-persecutee material for such policing." Of course, few of us here realize the shortage of manpower in Europe, but Judge Rifkind's suggestion that some of the refugees themselves be trained for this police work would seem to be a possible solution.

At one time, there was a great deal of criticism over here because some of the Poles in refugee camps were allowed to do policing and were armed while they were on duty. This was tried because of our Army's rapid demobilization and the need for men to work instead of remaining idle in the camps. Some of the Poles, however, proved none too reliable and their use as police had to be stopped. But Jewish refugees in Jewish camps will be entirely reliable, and certainly not dangerous to their own fellow sufferers.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Dunlap, Katherine W. [ index ]
         ? poet
  • McNarney, Joseph Taggart, 1893-1972 [ index ]
         American General in U.S. Army Air Force; Military Governor of occupied Germany
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC ]
  • Rifkind, Simon H. (Simon Hirsch), 1901-1995 [ index ]
         Lithuanian-born U.S. District Judge for Southern NY; moved to the US in 1910
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC ]
  • Hartford (Conn., United States) [ index ]
Other Terms and Topics

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 11, 1946

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | LC | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | Wikidata | SNAC ]

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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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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.