MAY 28, 1959
NEW YORK—It is a long trip that the foreign ministers, meeting in Geneva, took to pay tribute to John Foster Dulles in Washington and one hopes that his family was comforted in realizing that world affairs can still stand still long enough to allow personal warmth to be expressed.
It is encouraging to know that proposals made by the West for a settlement of the Berlin situation will at least be discussed point by point. The objectives of the two contended forces seem very far apart.
The Soviet Union's objective, of course, is to gain recognition of East Germany because, if this point is accepted, the sphere of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe will be enlarged beyond its present borders. And, understandably enough, the Soviet Union does not want West Germany to become again a major military factor allied with the West. The West is equally anxious not to see West Germany allied with the East.
It seems to me that the situation would be eased if the whole of Germany could be reunited but left unarmed. I realize well that the West feels that this is dangerous and would weaken its military position in Europe. On the other hand, Germany originally did not want to rearm and was willing to be a neutral power.
If we are really trying to reach a disarmed world, there should be some negotiations possible on this whole question which would not leave either the East or the West in the position of strength they really seek but which might be, in the end, a step towards a full plan of disarmament and peace for the world.
I realize only too well the foolishness of an outsider in trying to think in this area, where only those fully informed of every move can have valid opinions. Yet, the longing of the peoples of the world is to see the statesmen make some permanent move leading to ultimate disarmament and peace in the world.
One must take into account, I think, the known dangers of a nuclear war and realize that if we are going to free ourselves from the dangers of arms production, we must change the whole atmosphere of thought. The leaders must be made conscious of the feeling of the peoples of the world as they discuss these questions that mean so much to all of us.
When we realize how much good can result from new discoveries, if all are put to non-military uses, we cannot help but think that some way will be found to make the necessary experiments safe for the human race.
It was with great relief that those of us interested in peaceful solutions of the difficulties in race relations read of the election results in Little Rock, Ark., this week.
The moderate faction won against Governor Orval Faubus and his representatives, and three moderate men were endorsed for the Board of Education. This may mean only a slight change, but any move leading to greater moderation gives me a sense of satisfaction.
(Copyright, 1959, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 28, 1959
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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