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

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NEW YORK, Friday—As we read last night of the 20,000 GIs fighting their way to the sea from their isolated positions in North Korea, I think everyone of us felt like laying aside all our other occupations and praying that they would have the strength, and the courage, and the luck to fight through to the coast and the final protection of our warship's guns.

Yesterday I spent a rather futile day, going in and out to Lake Success twice. Each time I expected we would finish our work on the International Refugee Organization, or rather on the setup that is to take over when this organization comes to an end.

In the morning there was no Spanish translation of the final document and our Spanish-speaking friends could not be expected to work without copies of the document.

Therefore, we turned to the item on prisoners of war. The delegates from the United Kingdom and Australia spoke and then the Soviet delegate got the floor. When I got back at Lake Success at three o'clock I was told that Mr. Arutinian of Russia had talked for two hours and had not finished by 2:30 when they adjourned the meeting for lunch! No one was in our committee room and I found that the meeting was not called until 4 p.m. When I finally found my staff they told me that the delegate from Iraq wished to hear all the general speeches on the prisoners of war, before putting in any amendments. The deadline for those speeches had been set for 11 o'clock in the morning. Nevertheless, the speeches had to go on, and our refugee item was again put over until Friday morning.

Of course, it would be Russian tactics to filibuster, since the prisoners of war item is an attack on them. They do everything to prevent any work going on in the committee!

No one heard yesterday afternoon what the answer of the Communist Chinese was to the appeal of the 13 nations that they stop at the 38th parallel. But as I walked down the hall the delegates from the 13 nations were all dashing for a committee room and there was great excitement everywhere.

On every side I heard people saying how vicious the attacks against the United States had been and what hate was expressed by the delegates of the Soviet Union and Byelo-Russia in their speeches in Committee #1. It is curious that they should feel this hatred when the rest of the world—even we who are the main object of their attack—can feel no hatred. We merely have pity for their complete delusion.

We must, of course, develop hatred if the Soviets are intent on bringing about the third World War. But I see no signs of real hatred anywhere as yet in this country. And I should think if the Russians had any real knowledge of our people, or had made any contacts through their delegates that are not of a formal and supervised nature, they would be able to discover this fact for themselves.

It seems incredible that they should want war, and be willing to risk the lives of their own people in the way they have risked the lives of the people of other nations so far. Perhaps they do not realize that if they actually start a war in Asia it will never end until they also have suffered as all the rest of the world has suffered.

Those who feel strong and confident and know really little of what other people are made of, are apt to make such mistakes. Hitler made them and Mussolini joined him. But I am confident of what the final result will be, and I hope with all my heart that the Soviet Union will see the consequences of their war policy before it is too late.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 9, 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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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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.