My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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VIENNA, Austria —This is a lovely city. I went early today and got some of the salt water which I had accumulated during my swims in Yugoslavia, washed out of my hair. I was amused to have the hairdresser say to me: "Do you know Mrs. Windser ?" I thought for a minute and then said: "Oh, yes ," then the young lady remarked "she came in here and had her hair done when she stayed in this hotel ." A little later they brought me in the book to sign on the same page that my son, James, had signed a few years ago. It always interests me to find myself travelling in the footsteps of my much travelled children and it always pleases me to find they have left pleasant memories behind them.

A little before twelve we started off to see Schonbrunn, but first we decided to go and lunch at a lovely restaurant which overlooks the city from the top of a nearby hill. We had an excellent lunch and then proceeded to do our sightseeing.

The setting of this place is not as imposing as Versailles, nor are the gardens as extended and attractively laid out but once inside I was much interested in the light and charming decorations. One room has Persian prints let into the wall covering and it makes a charming effect. There is also a Chinese room which I thought was very lovely and the room in which Franz Joseph died is historically interesting as are all the things which belonged to old periods of history in the European development which changed so many times through war and conquest.

We went afterwards to the Belvedere where Prince Eugene lived. He stopped the Turks in a battle just outside of Vienna.

We also went to tea this afternoon with the Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Dowling, and his wife, and we met their two nice children who spend their school year in the U.S . I hope to see them again in the U.S .

In a week the Dowlings will be leaving for Bonn and I should think they would hate to leave this city where they have been for four years. Their house is very charming with a garden around it sufficiently large to make summer spent here seem like being in the country.

I was glad to have the opportunity of meeting a few very pleasant Viennese people at the tea, all of whom were very interesting, especially a young economist who, in a few sentences, put before me the economic problems of this country, saying they were supposed to have a free enterprise system but because not enough private capital was available, they had fallen under the need of having the government take over more and more of the business of the country with the result that at present a balance was extremely difficult to establish. How many problems there are for these war torn countries, so much to rebuild and from where are the resources to come?

I have been impressed by the fact that the people who seem to be travelling most in the countries I have been in lately in Europe and who seem to have the greatest amount of money to spend are the Germans. Neither do I see in them much change in the old attitudes which one saw in travelling Germans even before World War II.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Vienna (Austria) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 2, 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.