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

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NEW YORK—One wonders what the West's stand on the question of free elections on the unification of Germany will actually bring about.

The four great powers have a responsibility to restore one Germany by bringing about unification, but quite naturally the Soviets hope that unification will create a new pro-Soviet area, while the West hopes it will widen the area where there is attachment for democracy rather than for communism.

I can hardly imagine the Soviets agreeing to a free vote unless they are quite sure that Germany will not become a military menace. Yet the Western powers feel strongly that the unification should not be tied, in any way, to promises of neutrality.

The basic fact of Germany's right to be unified is, I think, incontestable. But we cannot forget history, and since Germany has started two world wars the anxieties on the part of the Eastern nations are understandable. Perhaps it is not unnatural to expect something a little more reassuring for peace in the future than has been forthcoming so far.

I know of one place where there was great rejoicing when Floyd Patterson retained his world heavyweight boxing title. The boys of Wiltwyck School take a special interest in this young champion, because he takes an interest in them! Small boys need to have idols, for hero worship is essential to growth.

I believe that one of the things to which this country must devote its main efforts in this second half of the 20th Century is the promotion of health throughout the nation. A recent paper by Dr. Halbert L. Dunn, Ph. D., Chief of the National Office of Vital Statistics, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, contains much that I think we should all keep in mind.

"The goal of health now, at mid-century, calls for not only the cure or alleviation of disease," he says. "Rather, it looks beyond—to strive for maximum physical, mental and social efficiency for the individual, for his family and for the community."

Dr. Dunn feels that this ideal has received lip service from doctors in general, but that very little actually has been done about it. And he sums up what he feels we should try to do, as follows:

"The ideal, of course, is a proper organization of available resources to guarantee that the individual—well or ill—is properly and promptly served. Two elements are essential to such organization: sound health education of the individual so that he has proper information and motivation to initiate action; and a professional person to act as health guide and counsellor, to lead the individual through what might otherwise seem a labyrinth of personnel, facilities and agencies."

His concept of health, of course, is a rounded person, in full health physically, mentally and emotionally—a fully well human being.

Space doesn't permit my discussing the pamphlet I mentioned in my last column, but I hope to be able to do so soon.


(Copyright, 1957, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 1, 1957

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.