DECEMBER 16, 1953
NEW YORK, Tuesday—It is interesting that the Communists in Norway made such a noisy demonstration against General of the Army George C. Marshall during the presentation of the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize. It was like King Haakon to spring to his feet and applaud so loudly and bring out the feelings of the audience as a whole to meet a difficult situation in just the right way. He is a wise and courageous man and one does not feel that age has dimmed his quick and resourceful mind.
I shall never forget the impression his personality made on me when I visited him at the time of the unveiling of the statue to my husband. In him was personified the simplicity and greatness which frees one from having to think about one's own importance. He treated me exactly as would any courteous gentleman, seeing me to my car, showing me his garden himself and by his own friendliness making it possible for those around him to feel at ease and friendly too. To have his tribute must have heartened General Marshall and made the Communist demonstration seem unimportant.
Certain gentlemen in this country, however, must wonder how someone they have so much disapproved of can also be disapproved of by the Communists. It always interests me that these important gentlemen who seek out Communists and try to destroy characters are never upset to the point of acknowledging their mistakes when they have been proved wrong. They seem to believe that if they just go on trying to find new people to smear, the fact that their smears of the past which were found to be wrong will not be noticed.
It seems to me that all of us in the United States must feel very proud to have a man among us who not only guided our war effort in World War II to a successful conclusion but later as a civilian headed the State Department and thought of a plan which probably saved the whole of Europe from communism.
General Marshall can be rightfully called "Soldier, statesman and benefactor of humanity." I particularly liked the little addition in which he was extolled for "making so many European gardens grow like his own little garden back in Virginia."
The wording of the leaflets which were dropped by the three Communist newspaper men who created the excitement is interesting because it shows how poor the material is which the Soviets have to use. No matter where you go you find the same material in their protests.
They called General Marshall a warmonger. They said his achievements were war and preparation for war and that he had given the final order for the bombs to be dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They forget that that decision was the President's but if they want to look for the real cause, they must go back to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Neither General Marshall nor the United States began the split between the Soviet and the U.S. It was the Soviet Union which built up its war capacity first and refused cooperation in peace proposals, wanting only its own proposals accepted and rejecting anything suggested by others.
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1953, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART PROHIBITED.)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 16, 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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