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


HYDE PARK, Sunday—In view of a question asked of me the other night about Germany, some of the work that has been carried on by the Unitarian Service Committee should be of particular interest to the public.

My questioner said he understood that, in spite of all the efforts of our occupation forces, there were still Nazis teaching German youth. I am quite sure that, if true, this is not intentional, and that every effort is made to get proper teachers who have proved their democracy. But anyone who has been in Germany must be impressed by the peculiar fact that there are no Nazis in Germany today—that is, no one was ever a Nazi, according to the Germans themselves—and it is therefore possible that even with careful screening some Nazis get by and slip into the teaching profession.

I have always felt, in any case, that deeds were more important than words, and I believe that Germany may be more convinced of the value of democracy by actually watching some such projects as the Unitarian Service Committee are undertaking. In the British zone of Germany, according to the committee's recent annual report, they have maintained three displaced children's homes and one adolescent center, where they have demonstrated American standards of child care. They worked out a plan with Vassar College whereby four recent graduates are joined to junior workers of the staff in the homes.

Next summer, under the chairmanship of Miss Katherine Taylor of Shady Hill School, Cambridge, they are planning to send an education and child care mission to Germany. Up to now they have sent mostly medical missions, and these have gone to many countries—Greece, Italy, Germany, Poland, Finland, Colombia and the Philippines. They send medical scientists who are specialists in many fields, as well as books and equipment which is not available in any foreign land today. When the members of the mission depart, they leave the equipment behind, having demonstrated its use; and the books also remain as a permanent help to the rehabilitation of medical laboratories and schools, so much needed by the doctors of the country. The committee plans to follow the same sort of pattern with their child care mission, and I think this plan should do a great deal to counteract Nazi teaching in Germany.

If you see the works of democracy, you begin to want to understand the ideas that lie back of the deeds. There are many other agencies working in the international field besides the United Nation agencies themselves. If all of them work in cooperation, their joint efforts will help to cover a much larger field and to achieve results which no one group could successfully achieve alone.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Taylor, Katharine Whiteside [ index ]
         American pioneer of the US cooperative preschool movement
         [ LC | VIAF ]
  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 24, 1949

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.