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


NEW YORK, Tuesday—In view of the constant reiteration on the part of the Russians even in their formal notes—that they have done everything to preserve the peace and that we are the ones who will bring on war through our attitude in Europe and our constant warmongering—I think we should jog our memories a little about the past.

If we think back we will realize that it is the Soviets who did not reduce their armies after World War II. It is the Soviets who have infiltrated into as many countries as they could possibly reach, and then armed those countries with materiel which they produced. It is they who have virtually taken control in these countries and have directed military preparations. It is the Russians who in their zone in Germany have established and trained a police force of 100,000 young Germans, armed them and thoroughly indoctrinated them with their Communist influence.

If it were not for the fact that hand in hand with their teaching has gone certain examples of what freedom under the Soviet means, they would be even stronger than they are. Fortunately for us, concentration camps, forced labor and death trains taking people to work against their will to various parts of the Soviet empire are hard to hide and those who escape from countries under Russian domination tell these stories. This news seeping through the Iron Curtain helps to counteract the influence the constant flow of peace talk might otherwise have in the outside world.

Most of the things that the Soviets have done have been done illegally. We are now in the unpleasant position, if we expect to meet the force they have built up with equal force, of having to do things we never intended to do, while they accuse us of illegalities.

If the Russians had lived up to their commitments under the United Nations Charter we need not be watching with such anxiety every move they make and trying to gauge what its real meaning is.

Do they mean to attack in the spring in Europe, and is that why they told Europe the other day that there was absolutely no threat to them in anything the Soviet Union had done?

The Yugoslavs, who are a great deal nearer than we are, take note with real concern of the number of Roumanian and Bulgarian troops that now have been armed, and of the newly strengthened forces of the Soviet army stationed in Carpatho-Ukraine.

The Soviet Union has been extremely clever in making the satellites carry most of the burden of increased men and armaments in the field. In the case of China, of course, a war actually is being fought with Chinese troops; as yet no Russian troops have been engaged or lost. Nevertheless, Russia gives enormous confidence to their satellites by their close consultation, their readiness to help with supplies and the fact that their reserves are strategically placed where the front-line people all know that they can be of maximum use if they are required.

Who, then, really is breaking its promise under the U.N. pact? Who is equipped to go to war at a moment's notice?



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 24, 1951

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.