JULY 3, 1940
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—It is so rare in this world that anyone wants to take away from any credit given them, and give it to somebody else, that I must tell you that Mrs. Stephen Wise insists I created a wrong impression after going through houses for refugees the other day. These are run by the American Jewish Congress, and the Women's Division founded and maintained them entirely through voluntary gifts.
I forgot to mention one rather important fact—that while the management has been entirely in the hands of the Women's Division of the American Jewish Congress, they have accepted refugees on an entirely non-sectarian basis. Not only Jewish, but Catholic and liberal Protestant refugees from Germany, have found a haven here.
I did a considerable amount of work yesterday, even though I felt I had spent a very free day. After our luncheon guests departed, Miss Thompson and I sat at our desks until 6:00 o'clock, when we called on some of our neighbors. Otto Berge, the head man who took over our furniture shop a few years ago and who makes beautiful pieces of furniture in his own barn with the help of the machinery we gave him, has made a lectern for me to send to an Indian church out West. It is made of oak because the rest of the woodwork in the church is oak. As a rule, I do not care much for oak as a decorative wood, but Otto Berge has finished this so beautifully that I was very happy over it. I hope that when it reaches its destination, it will look well in the little church.
I am giving my broadcast today from the big house up here for the first time. It has been wired for the President, so that makes it possible for me to speak from there.
So Romania has had to join Hitler in order to gain protection, and the Islands of Guernsey and Jersey in the English Channel, which are demilitarized and half evacuated, now have the swastika flying over them. This should help Hitler from the point of view of dairy products, but then perhaps the children in Germany feel as some of our children did who had been unable to have butter for a long time. A butter substitute seems to become a habit and children prefer it to real butter.
The importance of these islands, of course, is simply that they become another base from which Germany can operate more easily against Southampton, which is an important shipping port.
We have heard so little lately of submarine activity that one feels encouraged to believe that the ships which carry children from Europe will come through safely. The responsibility of the crew and the people who care for the children on this trip must be heavy indeed and one hopes that no submarine will have the heart to attack them.