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

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NEW YORK—It has been difficult these past few days to understand what has been happening in both Poland and Hungary.

In Hungary, Russian troops have been used against the rioters, giving the impression that the Communist leader there was willing to accept Russian help. Therefore, the uprising has been not only against the Soviet occupation but against Communism.

In Poland, it looks more as though the uprising was of the Tito variety, with the country quite willing to accept Communism and a Communist leader but wanting to have a Polish Communism.

This naturally would be more acceptable to the Soviet Union and the West must accept, of course, the choice of any nation to freely choose its own form of government.

At the same time, the West would hope that if these nations really become free, their peoples will make changes to bring them gradually nearer to the democratic formula and draw them away from the type of Communist police state which reduces freedom of thought and of action.

This, I think, has been the hope of the democracies concerning Yugoslavia, even though they have admitted President Tito to be a dictator. This form of government would be far more acceptable than a democracy to the Soviets, who would feel that in most of the Communist countries they could find support even though these countries would have a certain amount of national freedom.

This would disappoint refugees outside of these countries. But it would be a step forward and as much of a step, it seems to me, as one can expect to take peacefully at the present time.

Quite naturally, our own Administration will take credit for any successful movement toward nationalism in any of the satellites, and those who listened to President Eisenhower at Madison Square Garden last Thursday night must have been amused at his bland claims which ignored all achievements by past administrations.

I was particularly interested to hear that the President was the first to attend one of the South American meetings. Across my mind flashed the memory of a Democratic President who attended such a meeting in Buenos Aires a number of years ago.

But I would not expect the President's memory to go that far back in history. The shorter the memory, the more you can claim as either personal or Republican party achievements.

There is one great achievement of the Republican Administration, however, and that is that it finally has brought the United States to the signing of the United Nations statute for an international atomic energy agency for peaceful use of the atom.

President Eisenhower made the proposal for this agency in 1953 and we owe him a debt of gratitude for proposing it and bringing his own country into this world organization.


(Copyright, 1956, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 1, 1956

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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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.