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


NEW YORK. Thursday —I have just been looking over the 25th anniversary edition of "Aufbau," which was issued on Friday, April 29. This is an American weekly published in New York by the New World Club, but I found it very interesting to see how many world leaders sent their congratulations.

To me this is significant because there has been in the past few weeks a recurrence of the old discussion of whether we can wipe out anti-Semitism, not only in Germany where it reached its height prior and during World War II but in the world as a whole.

As you go back into history you realize that persecution under which the Jews have suffered in country after country has made them the strong, resourceful, resilient people that they are today. They have almost always had to be more intelligent and work harder in order to cope with the restrictions placed on them. And, as they survived and as they achieved, of course there was always a resentment from those among whom they lived and worked who felt inferior or who feared that they could not keep up.

In Germany it was partly because the Jews were so successful that they suffered.

Now there is a great change. The Jews have a nation of their own—a small nation, to be sure, but every Jew, whether consciously or unconsciously wherever he is in the world, knows there is a land called Israel that belongs to his people. He may be proud to be a member of another nation, he may prefer to forget that Israel exists, but it will nevertheless be a strength in his background.

As far as religion goes, the differences are not so great that Christians and Jews cannot live in the same world. And I believe that, as the confidence and the security of the Jewish people grow, some of their own misgivings will lessen, and with it will disappear some of the jealousy of the people among whom they live.

It may take time, but I believe anti-Semitism can be done away with just as I believe we are all going eventually to look at human beings without having violent reactions if they happen to have different physical characteristics from those which we have ourselves. In this hope lies the real hope for peace in the world in the future.

I do not expect that peace will come without much conscious striving on the part of peoples of the world, but it is what we are now, along many different lines, working for. So, let us try to prepare ourselves for an attitude of mind that will make it more possible to live in the world with the whole of the world's population.

Well, the West Virginia primaries are over and, contrary to much that was said, Senator John F. Kennedy succeeded in getting a great majority of the vote, and Senator Hubert H. Humphrey has withdrawn from the race to obtain the Presidential nomination.

This means that we now have three active candidates in the field, and two of them can be considered to be the candidates of the professional politicians. Senator Stuart Symington and Senator Lyndon Johnson certainly will have the backing, as far as the present announcements indicate, of President Truman and other powerful figures in the regular organization, while Senator Kennedy will be considered the candidate of the liberals.

From the sidelines this is an interesting political struggle to watch and, as a neutral until the convention, I watch with interest. For in going about the country I have found an underlying ground swell for Adlai Stevenson on the part of the ordinary Democrat who hasn't much official power but who does make up the majority of the Democratic vote. It may be impossible to ignore this unofficial feeling; it seems to be a little more in evidence day by day and the professional politicians know it has to be considered.


(Copyright, 1960, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

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My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 13, 1960

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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.