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

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HYDE PARK —From Germany, a few days ago, I received a long letter written by an American named Al Hoosman. Mr. Hoosman is making an appeal to Americans to help him care for and give a start in life to illegitimate children who have been left in Germany as a result of our military occupation. He calls his organization "The Association to Help Parentless Colored and Other Children," and the treasurer is Helmut Zanner, Fendstrasse 2, Munich, Germany.

This is a sad problem that occurs almost inevitably in every country where occupation forces have been stationed. We must accept the fact that the biologic 1 urge to reproduce, which was put into human beings as a safeguard to the human race, is hard to resist unless people learn a rare amount of self-discipline. Armies will leave behind them the sorrows and tribulations of illegitimate children who, though totally innocent, will suffer nevertheless.

Mr. Hoosman has obtained a great deal of support in Germany for his organization, whose statement of objectives includes the following paragraph: "It is obvious that the need of these children is most urgent during these present critical years. They need love and understanding, the knowledge that they are not alone at any time. It cannot be stressed strongly enough the momentous help and assistance these many thousands of youngsters will need if they are to grow up in a society and serve as useful citizens. . . It will also add a link of strength to two great countries with already long post-war years of close ties."

We do need to have these problems in other countries brought before us. I have previously written of the needs in Japan, and I am glad it is also being brought before us as it exists in England and in Germany. If we ignore the problem, uncared-for children will grow up to hate the United States, as well as other human beings.

In our own country, we also have important tasks that deserve our support. The Johns Hopkins Medical School has formed a committee on a private basis which seeks to set up a scholarship fund for Negro medical students at the school. Colored doctors are very much needed in this country, and I think it should be made possible for them to get the best training available. This is a move backed by a very fine group of American doctors.

In chronicling my recent activities I think I forgot to mention that a week ago, on May 24, I was in Chicago for the breakfast of the Chicago alumnae chapter of Theta Sigma Phi, the national fraternity for women in journalism. I spent a delightful few hours with them, and I could not help thinking how ingenious they had been in giving my talk a title that allowed me to speak on almost anything I wanted to. Their program read: "Eleanor Roosevelt will speak on `Words, Women and the World."' This really leaves one remarkably free!

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hoosman, Al [ index ]
         African-American US soldier; bar owner and founder of The Association to Help Parentless Colored and Other Children
  • Zanner, Helmut [ index ]
         Treasurer of The Association to Help Parentless Colored and Other Children
  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 1, 1959

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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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.