JULY 20, 1953
KOTOR, Yugoslavia —After leaving the Banja cooperative on Wednesday last, we drove quite fast to reach Avala which is a hill outside Belgrade on which they have placed their monument to the unknown soldier of the last war. Nearby there is a very delightful hotel with a beautiful view of the plains around Belgrade, with the Danube flowing in the distance. As I stood on the terrace looking toward the Danube, one of the gentlemen pointed out to me that that was Yugoslavia's frontier and I thought to myself that I hadn't heard a single Yugoslav say they were worried about the war and yet here they were with Germany rapidly gaining strength on one side, an old enemy and not easy to forget, and the Soviet Union and its satellites just a few miles away right on their border. No one seems worried or afraid. In fact I have met people in the the U.S. who seemed much more concerned about attack from the Soviet Union. Evidently, if you have to live with something close by day in and day out, you can't afford to think with fear.
The unknown soldier's tomb is up a long flight of steps. It is a beautiful tomb with four very strong figures at the entrance to each door, representing the mothers of the different Republics of Yugoslavia.
After lunch I visited a very fine museum in Belgrade and then for an hour I met with the heads of women's organizations. From 6:30 to 7:30 I attended a reception given by the U.N. Association and the Academy of Arts and Sciences. Here I spoke for a brief time, telling what I thought the American Association for the U.N. could do. There is no need in Yugoslavia to tell people what work the U.N. does or how valuable it is because they have it demonstrated for them every day. All the U.N. organizations have been useful to them here, and without the U.N. itself Yugoslavia might not have been able to stand up against Russia so the people of Yugoslavia know the value of the United Nations far better than do the people of the U.S. and yet if Yugoslavia had stayed under Soviet domination, it would have seriously weakened the U.S. in its struggle against Soviet Communism.
We had a delightful family dinner that night with Mr. Geremovic, my old colleague on the Human Rights Commission, and that ended our activities in Belgrade.
Thursday morning we left at 8 a.m. by plane for Sarajevo. Here we lunched with the Vice President of the People's Committee, Mr. Mumo, in what used to be a Turkish palace but is now a guest house.
Sarajevo is a place where many different races and religions meet. There are 120 odd mosques in this city but almost an equal number of Roman Catholic and Orthodox church people. The Turks have left their mark, the Austrians have left their mark, and yet they are now all Yugoslavs. They glory in their own Republic and in their freedom, but they are Yugoslavs as well.
Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced
- [ index ] Kotor (Yugoslavia)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 20, 1953
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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