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


HYDE PARK, Tuesday—A memorial house is being planned in London in memory of the late Ambassador John Gilbert Winant. In a conspicuous place will be placed a plaque stating that it stands there in memory of a man who was a loyal and devoted American and a true friend to Great Britain and its people. He was our representative in England during the trying days of World War II and they admired his courage just as he admired theirs. The memorial is to be built with funds given by his American friends and admirers, of whom there are many, who wish to perpetuate his memory for his great service during the war.

I have a warm regard and great respect for Robert Patterson, former Secretary of War under whom the decartelization plan in Germany was set up, but I must confess to complete bewilderment that he is now in Germany representing certain German industrialists who are opposing decartelization. One of the people responsible for Mr. Patterson being in Germany is Dr. Fritz E. Oppenheimer, legal staff officer at Supreme Headquarters of Allied European Forces, and this gives one a feeling that he could not have really been devoted to decartelization when it was being set up.

In the newspaper report that I read Mr. Patterson stressed the fact that he was not against decartelization as such, but he was seeking a compromise in the interpretation of the program first set up after the war's end, when he was Under Secretary and then Secretary of War. It seems to me that one must be for cartels or against them. I cannot see how there can be any halfway business.

I also find it difficult to understand the freeing of Alfred Krupp and the return to him of his properties. I am told that Mr. Krupp was not active under the Nazis and not responsible for what his father did, but he is not a young man and I cannot see how he could have been completely unknowing. The fact that we have freed so many Nazis of late must be puzzling the German people. If we actually have a moral belief that Nazism was bad and that people should not be encouraged who were Nazis and if we think that cartels helped to bring on wars in the past and should not be allowed to grow up again, the Germans may not like our condemnation of such things, but at least they will respect the fact that we have moral standards and stick to them.

But if I am bewildered by what has been going on in the last few weeks, what must it do to the Germans and our European allies? Are we trying to build an economic empire? I thought we were trying to rehabilitate the Germans and the economy of Europe as a whole along the lines that would make it more difficult for war to recur.

We were anxious to see the people of Europe able to support themselves and to live happily and comfortably. But we were not anxious to see Germany return to her old position as a power, seeking aggression and prepared to make war. Her people do not want that. And if we want really to strengthen democracy against communism we will urge the integration of Germany into the European Union and the Schuman Plan and we will have a consistent policy and not one that is so difficult for all of us to understand.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 28, 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.