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

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NEW YORK, Friday—I was shocked yesterday, as I walked through the corridor of the United Nations building, to be told of Abe Feller's death. I did not know him very well but I liked him very much. Undoubtedly he felt very keenly the resignation of Secretary General Trygve Lie. Perhaps he felt it might end his chance to go on in international work to which he wanted to dedicate his life. And he was probably sensitive to the fact that it was his own country's action that seemed to be putting the last straw on Mr. Lie's back.

On Abe Feller devolved the responsibility of meeting with the representatives of the Senate Internal Security subcommittee investigating U.N. personnel. He was well known as an anti-Communist liberal and everyone who knew him well was apparently devoted to him.

In his position he had to be completely objective and, at times, this must have been a tremendous strain. The greatest strain, however, probably was his worry over the effect that the attacks of the Senate subcommittee might have on the future of the U.N.

He must have known that among many members of the Secretariat who have come to this country from nations where they have known Fascist or Communist regimes that there is sometimes whispered: "Is there anyplace in the world where you can get away from the Gestapo? Is this the U.S. Gestapo?" That must have worried him, too, for people the world over need the assurance that there is one area of the world where people are sure enough of themselves to be free from spying and constant suspicion.

Senator Alexander Wiley tried to kid me a little on my return to the delegation yesterday morning. He said he heard that I had been south in order to bring back to the Democratic fold some of those who left it on Election Day, but I assured him that I always believed in the two-party system and believed in it for the South as well as for the North.

In fact, I think it would be greatly preferable for those in the South who are Republicans in all but name to be known out in the open as Republicans. There is nothing wrong in being a Republican. It denotes the trend of one's thinking, and I have never understood why it was not considered respectable in the South to be a Republican. Certainly, some of the voting in Congress during the past few years has indicated a switch to the Republican side.

In Committee 3 we are slowly hearing speeches on the right of self-determination of people. The Soviet delegation must have listened with satisfaction to the Byelorussian delegate's long speech showing what good things have come to them since all the people under Russian domination have been allowed to have self-determination and chose the Soviet domination.

The speech was the usual paean of praise...the rise in the number of institutions of higher learning was phenomenal as was the rise of all other good things.

The Reds always conveniently forget to tell you whether there is anything which is not complete perfection. Knowing as I do the impossibility of carrying out any plans with 100 percent efficiency everywhere, these songs of praise don't carry any conviction for me. I only hope that the Russian people themselves reap a few of the benefits.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 15, 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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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.