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

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NEW YORK, Friday—Day after day the United Nations is being accused of one dreadful thing after another in Korea. The last accusation I saw was that we are using prisoners of war in atom tests!

This sort of thing seems to be the latest switch in Soviet tactics. Now we are being accused of doing all kinds of things that some of us probably never would even think of. As a result, it simply teaches us what we may expect the Kremlin to do.

One thing is interesting, however. I find that in the Human Rights Commission meetings there is a tendency to see through certain Soviet statements, and take them as just so much conversation to be listened to, but not accepted as serious. I wish this same attitude could spread throughout the United States. Then when we see that the Russians have accused us of using tactics that are unthinkable to most of us, we will just smile to ourselves and say: "Well, this is what they consider possible but we know the accusation is just propaganda."

I also wish we could get over being afraid of their having the power to persuade any of us to believe in their doctrines. We ought to know their doctrines and their tactics so well by this time that we should feel perfectly confident. If we could make them realize this they would cease to try to inspire us with the kind of fear that occasionally takes hold of some of our people who feel they cannot trust themselves to deal with this unknown enemy.

I have a letter from a young Indian priest who is studying here at Fordham University. He has set himself a goal and he wants to get help from us here on a voluntary basis. He feels that in India it would be wonderful to establish a Boys' Town, modelled on what he has learned here about our various Boys' Towns.

I cannot tell the story of why he wants to do this any better than to quote his letter to me:

"Perhaps very little is known in this country about India, the land of millions and the land of poverty. In this land of plenty and of opportunities one perhaps does not realize the abject poverty and helplessness of thousands, especially the misery of many homeless children. Something must be done for those homeless and suffering children before they die of hunger and want.

"There is no need to describe what an amount of good institutions like a boys' town will do for those hundreds of children. I am trying to start a boys' town in South India to take care of a few hundreds of these homeless boys.

"I hope to build an institution to take care of some 500 boys, to give them sound moral and technical education and bring them up for God and country so that when they go out of the institution they may be prepared to fight the battle of life and find their proper place in society.

"I hope that this new institution will be a lasting monument to the generosity of the American people whose love and sympathy for suffering children is well known throughout the world. The many hundreds of boys who will pass through the portals of this institution will lovingly remember their many American benefactors and friends."

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 17, 1952

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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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.