My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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CAMPOBELLO ISLAND, N.B., Monday—The other day, I noticed an interesting news item on a report made by Miss Molly Silva-Jones, supervision officer of the German Welfare Commission in the British zone. At the Paris congress of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women, she said that she had founded in Westphalia three women's clubs along the lines of those existing in other countries. She said that the educated German woman is conscious of her isolation, conscious that the Nazi regime narrowed her opportunities to take part in the public life of her community, and desires now to be a force for good in her country.

Many German women, Miss Silva-Jones said, had been in prison for anti-Nazi activities and were eager now to find out what was happening in other parts of the world, particularly as it touches women, and would welcome speakers from other nations.

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Almost on the same day that I read this item, I received a letter from a German woman in Dusseldorf, which is in the British zone. I am going to quote from it because I think it will be interesting to women in this country in view of what Miss Silva-Jones reported.

"I am associated with a woman's union shortly founded here at Dusseldorf, which has adopted the name Deutscher Frauenring, and I am a member of the managing board. This is a woman's guild of non-political character. That means it…only intends to deal with general questions and problems of life and of public interest. Of course, we must and we will avoid to be a kind of suffragettes, though I am of the opinion that just now, after the Hitler regime is broken down, we have to show and prove that women are well able to deal also with other problems than those which only were reserved to them under the Nazi system.

"German women must learn again to realize what they can and what they must do here in Germany. Therefore, I feel it is necessary to make contacts and correspondence with women of other nations all over the world, in order to learn what progress they have made during the past years, and particularly what they are doing in view of the world peace, of an understanding among the people and towards world common welfare.

"We Germans, of course, are not authorized at present to do anything of decisive character in view of the great politics of the world. But we are looking at the great powers, what they will decide. It is quite evident that there are two alternatives for the world at present, one to avoid a third world war, and another to start a third world war. That is the question which is generally discussed here. What is your personal point of view about it?

"Of course, I am afraid of a new war, because I have still the terrible impressions from the first one and even more from the last one. On the other hand, I realize that there are too great political controversies existing, which cannot be easily settled by conferences, meetings and speeches."

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL