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

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NEW YORK—There is at the present time a very intensive campaign, called Operation Brotherhood, being carried forward. The sponsors are the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce and the International Rescue Committee. The plea is to save 750,000 escapees from communism in Vietnam.

The ports though which they may leave North Vietnam are about to be closed. Once closed they will be under Communist domination. If the refugees can get out before that time, they will join more than 800,000 of their fellow countrymen who have already crossed into South Vietnam and are trying to reestablish themselves and survive there.

The government of South Vietnam is striving for true independence but it has not the wherewithal to shelter, feed and clothe this great mass of hungry, dispossessed people.

If help from outside, from the free nations of the world, does not come to them, how are they to keep their hope and faith alive? How are they to believe that there is in South Vietnam a stable democratic government if that government cannot command the help that is needed for its people from governments that are sympathetic in other parts of the world?

President Eisenhower has said: "I am happy to give my warm support and endorsement to Operation Brotherhood. Such action as yours for free Vietnam will play an important role in maintaining and strengthening freedom in Asia. I urge my fellow Americans to join in this great effort."

The need to help refugees is something the American people have been in contact with now for a long time. We helped refugees from the Nazi regime reach safety in many parts of the world. We are hearing now a plea to help those who cross the line from Communist East Germany, from Poland, from Czechoslovakia, and from other Communist states.

We have not yet done an adequate job in Europe to give these people the feeling that they are sure of support from the free world and that they will be given the wherewithal to reestablish themselves somewhere in the free world. But more of us know of the need in Europe, and I hope we will meet that need with increasing generosity.

In Asia it is perhaps even more vital because fewer people feel close to the problems in Asia. There are plenty of people in this country whose roots were deep in the areas of Europe from which people have had to flee in the past few years. That is not so true of areas in Asia. Therefore, we have to redouble the appeal to help people to live in freedom.

Wherever you are in the world freedom has the same importance.

(Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 17, 1955

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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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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.