OCTOBER 8, 1945
NEW YORK, Sunday—On Thursday evening I attended a solemn and beautiful ceremony which the Netherlands-Jewish Society held to commemorate the deaths that had occurred throughout Europe, but especially among the Dutch Jews. A message from Queen Wilhelmina spoke of her deep sorrow in the death of so many of her loyal subjects and of the pride she felt in the way in which all of them had banded together to defy the Germans, so that many Gentiles risked death to protect Jews.
Holland is one of the places where not only is there no anti-Semitism, but there has been no distinction between citizens. That is something of which to be extremely proud, and I wish it could be said in all parts of the world.
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I took a late plane to Washington, afterward, in order to be on hand at 10 A. M. Friday for the annual meeting of the Southern Education Foundation. It is the first time I have traveled on a plane in months and months, and I felt a little queerly about it, as though I were doing something I still had no right to do. Mothers with babies, however, and many other civilians were traveling at the same time, so I soon settled down in comfort and enjoyed the smooth trip.
When the date was set for the Southern Education Foundation meeting, no one had known, of course, that the city of Washington would be celebrating Admiral Nimitz' return. It was his day; the streets were filled with people, and the air was filled with planes. I was unable to leave the offices during the whole day, and the only part of the celebration that any of us on the foundation could see was the vast air formation as it flew over Lafayette Square. I rejoice in every honor paid Admiral Nimitz and the officers and men under him, for without their fine work the victory could not have been achieved.
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I caught the five o'clock train home, but was very grateful for the Washington share-the-taxi arrangement, as otherwise I think I would never have reached the station. I was fortunate enough to find a taxi with a gentleman who was going to be dropped at the Greyhound bus station. This enabled me to arrive at the station in ample time to buy a ticket and get a seat on the train. The train was crowded with military men and women going on furlough. A boy behind me was going home to get married. A man across the aisle, not in uniform, was going to see his child in Wilmington make some grade in the Girl Scouts, and he asked me to sign an autograph for her. It was a friendly and happy crowd.
Equipment on trains shows what a strain the railroads have been under. In our car the lights grew dim and, after leaving Baltimore, went out entirely. Consequently, I found the trip very restful. I would have felt obliged to read something, since my bag was full of material that should be gone over. Instead, I sat in the darkness with folded hands and looked out at the passing cities and the occasional lights in the countryside, and I thought what a fortunate people we are!