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


HYDE PARK, Monday—In a Communist paper, which I saw the other day, I read this sentence: "The South Koreans gave up at once, although they had the arms and men equal to the invaders."

This is the kind of Communist Propaganda that spreads lies dressed up as truth to the average person. One would be led to believe that the South Koreans were armed for aggression as the North Koreans were. It has been openly stated that the only arms in the hands of the South Koreans were such arms as would be used for police purposes. The North Koreans were armed and trained for aggression by the Soviets.

The pattern of Soviet aggression is becoming increasingly clear. The Russians do not themselves go to war. That would be needlessly exposing themselves to having violated their promises under the United Nations Charter. Instead, if there is dissatisfaction on the part of any country, or if they are given control within a country, they use every method to indoctrinate the people of that country with their ideas and convictions. At first, if the country has been accustomed to great poverty, lack of opportunity and exploitation and, as in the case of Korea, even to invasion and occupation by an enemy country, the new regime seems tantamount to complete freedom. Someday the new regime will find out that their own people, placed at the head of the government, are so well indoctrinated in Soviet ideas that there is no freedom for the masses below. But it takes time for this to develop, and in the meantime there is a surge of patriotism. They are throwing out foreigners. They are to have their own government. It is naturally attractive.

I do not know whether the government of South Korea commanded the devotion of the people of that part of the country. Judging from the newspaper accounts I should doubt whether they had been perfectly satisfied. But I am sure that in the long run the North Koreans will not be free. They soon will learn they are but captives of a government which may be nominally Korean but which is completely under the domination of the Soviet Union.

The present government of China may be very different in its final results because 450 million people are difficult to control. But I read an article the other day by Madame Sun Yat-sen which plainly shows the kind of propaganda that is fed not only to China but to all the Asiatic peoples.

In this article, which I think in all probability Madame Sun Yat-sen must have had some assistance in writing, are these sentences:

"The record is clear. Marshall Plans will help neither Indonesia nor any other country. They are not instigated for that purpose. There is another intent. It has become clear again that America's capitalist system is a humpty-dumpty which has fallen off the wall of history. It is cracked and severely so. Therefore, the monopolists of Wall Street try to put it together again. They use the very expensive Marshall Plan, while the American people, and all peoples upon whom it is imposed, are made to pay for it."

Statements such as this have no foundation in fact. They sound very well, though, and when you realize that this is the kind of material being fed to Communists and to discontented peoples all over the world, you are a little appalled by the job of counteracting it.

The truth may be strong, but it must be strongly expressed, too!

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 8, 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.