My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark , Tuesday—Sunday morning we drove through a delightful park that looks out on the harbor to the English church. En route we stopped to see a charming bronze figure of a mermaid on top of a rock, around which the children sail their little boats. And not only do the children sail boats, they hop from rock to rock, obviously enjoying the fun, while their elders sit on the nearby benches keeping watch.

It gave me great pleasure to discover that my host, Mr. Anderson, is very interested in modern art. And for the first time in my life, after listening to some of his explanation, I have begun to have a faint understanding of what these modern artists are endeavoring to portray. There is a long road ahead, though, before I grasp the full meaning of modern music, modern architecture or modern art forms.

On Sunday afternoon I had an opportunity to meet the ECA labor information officer. We discussed labor in the Scandinavian countries. There is a pronounced feeling among some of the politicians here, many of whom belong to organized labor, that we, in the United States, do not fully comprehend the meaning of their different political groups or for what they really stand. Some of the Social Democrats have been very careful to explain that, as such, they stand for what we would call the Democratic party. Perhaps they do not realize that there are differences in the beliefs of people within the Democratic party. As I see it, the beliefs of the Social Democratic party here, would be the beliefs of such unions as back the Democratic party, but, whose members work for what we would call the Liberal principles of that party, as exemplified by President Truman's Fair Deal proposals.

Whether small countries like Denmark, or vast ones like the United States, they still have people within their borders who continue to hold different view points, and they vary just as violently whether they live in the United States or in Denmark. The people of Denmark are a people who truly value education, and are very conscious of their own culture. They want to live and enjoy life. They work hard; they make the most of their agricultural resources, and in the intellectual and technical development of the people as a whole.

Sunday was my last day in Scandinavian countries. In the evening I spoke under the auspices of the National Council of Danish women and the newspaper, Politiken. They asked me to talk again on the work of the Human Rights Commission. Like every other small country in this Scandinavian area the recognition of human rights is of paramount importance. At least, a part of their hopes for peace in the future are dependent upon this recognition.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Copenhagen (Denmark) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 21, 1950

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