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

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HYDE PARK, Monday—I happened to see a little item the other day which comes from a Midwestern newspaper. They strongly advocated organizing an American truth campaign to combat the USSR propaganda.

Throughout Europe the USSR has repeated the accusation over and over again that the United States is engaged in "imperialist aggression." The most noticeable rise in this propaganda is the recent insistence that the United States is flooding Yugoslavia with army officers, and that we intend to incite that country to aggression in order to offset our fiasco in Korea. The Russians lack any sense of humor or it would occur to them, I think, that we could hardly be preparing for aggression anywhere when it is so evident that we were not prepared for aggression in Korea.

To insist that we wish to add to our burdens by provoking another country to aggressive action seems very foolish. In addition, the Yugoslavs are a fairly independent people and have never shown the slightest desire to follow without question anybody's suggestions!

It is so evident who are the people who both plan and furnish materials for aggression, and it is hard to believe that words can speak louder than actual deeds. In the field of deeds the USSR is convicted of preparing the Northern Koreans, not for policing their own territory, but for aggression. All this propaganda that they put out and inspire is utterly unbelievable to anyone who takes the trouble to think.

It is high time, however, that we not only have a stronger Voice of America but a very much better Voice of America, for we must declare our desire for peace. We must show that our efforts constantly made within our own nation, to bring about better understanding among people, are creating a greater devotion to the cause of peace in the world.

I do not believe that any people want war, not even the people of the USSR in spite of the propaganda poured over them daily, but they cannot help themselves since theirs is not a democracy, but a police state in which the voice of the people cannot be heard.

I think we need to use every facility that the United States has for a truth offensive and, I think, the United Nations should do the same. UNESCO can assist, and the United Nations' Broadcasts can do a great deal, because today much of the USSR propaganda is as much against the United Nations, and the peace for which it stands, as it is against the United States.

For a long time now the USSR has used the meetings of the United Nations for no other purpose than to attack the intentions of other countries. The United States, the United Kingdom and Chile are the most frequent victims of these attacks, but the United Nations was not designed as a gathering place in which nations should attack each other. It was intended that the nations gathered together should attempt to arrive at better understanding and at solutions of the problems before them. That this has been made impossible by the attitude of the USSR can be proved by a reading of the precis of any of the committee meetings in the General Assembly, or in almost any of the other agencies. The sooner this comes to an end, real constructive work can be accomplished and the fear of war can be removed.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 1, 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.