My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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LJUBLJANA, Yugoslavia —This morning we went to work bright and early and my article is finished. I only hope it gives a truthful and informative picture for this experience in Yugoslavia has been an extremely interesting one. It is an experiment and one that may have great meaning for the rest of the world if the main objectives remain freedom and democracy within the framework of their type of socialism. No one here likes the experiment which they are trying, called "communism" because the President says it is not communism and has nothing to do with what he calls Soviet imperialism. Socialism it certainly is but socialism and freedom may go hand in hand and anything which curtails the freedom of these people is going to be difficult to establish.

After working all morning on my article, I finally finished it. We lunched about one o'clock and somewhere around two the President and Mrs. Broz came to accompany us to the landing where a boat waited to take us to Pula.

We were to take the train from Pula to Ljubljana. I must say that as I waved goodbye to the President and Mrs. Broz standing on the pier at Brioni I really felt I had left a very homelike place and I certainly could not have asked for more understanding and warm hospitality.

Pula was the headquarters, I understand, of the Austro-Hungarian navy before the war. We were on a fairly fast boat but we slowed down as we neared the town because there were a number of sail boats out and people swimming and rowing in small boats.

The trip on the train was interesting. We climbed steadily for quite a while till we were really high up in the mountains with mountain peaks all around us.

In Slovenia they tell me there is much rain and we found ourselves in quite a rainstorm which in some places had beaten down the crops of wheat and corn considerably.

This is the richest republic of Yugoslavia, industrially more developed than any of the others. They are not self sufficient as far as agriculture is concerned which, I suppose, is explained by the fact that they have a goodly number of mountain areas.

As I look out of the window in my hotel, the usual evening promenade is going on. The rain has stopped, people are strolling along looking into shop windows, standing talking in the middle of the street. It seems to be universal in any Yugoslav city that at this hour of the day the population promenades in the streets of the town.

The working hours seem to me very sensible here, six or seven o'clock until two and then you go home, get your midday meal which is for everyone the heaviest meal of the day, and rest. After your rest you have a good chunk of the day left for education or play or in the earlier days people took an extra job because there was so much need of man power. That need is passing now and people can really enjoy the late afternoon.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Ljubljana (Yugoslavia) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 30, 1953

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.