My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Friday—One wonders a little why the Soviet Military Administration is averse to having German visitors from the Anglo-American-French zone coming into the Russian zone. One wonders if for any reason there are things in the Russian zone that they would prefer not to have either Germans or Americans or French or British authorities know anything about!

These rules, which keep people from travelling from one place to another, must be annoying to those who have to live with them day in and day out. One wonders if fewer rumors would fly about if there were less control and people moved about easily. As things are today people are constantly saying that this and that is happening in the Russian zone, and I suppose there is an equal amount of whispering among the Russians about happenings in the American-British zone.

I am becoming more convinced, day by day, that if we want peace in the future we must have a free flow of information and a free flow of visitors among the various nations of the world. We have allowed ourselves to be jockeyed into the position of doing things or not doing things because they may be practices or limitations set forth by the Soviets. I think the sooner we face the fact that this attitude just furnishes opportunities to Russia to base her propaganda on reality rather than on fiction, the better it will be for us.

* * *

Yesterday, at Lake Success, a press association story was brought to my attention. It revealed that in a Russian paper an open letter was addressed to me, supposedly written by a Russian woman. She said she could not understand how I, the widow of a great man who had stood for help to the underprivileged, could have gone on record as advocating the traffic in women and children in certain areas of the world.

Anyone who has access to knowledge about world current events would not be fooled into believing such an idiotic story. I know very well what the Russians base this story on, but, of course, it is plainly untrue. It could be believed only in a country that is completely cut off from contact with the other nations of the world.

There are many things that I might like to ask this Russian woman, but I doubt if I would get an answer. For the moment, anyway, I am more concerned that we behave like mature and sensible human beings here in the U.S.A.

We should get over our hysterical fears and welcome visitors from other nations, even those who come to us from behind the iron curtain. Visitors should be allowed to travel freely. The authorities should keep in touch with them and know what they are doing, but unless they come to see us they will never become convinced that we are not the kind of nation that is painted for them day in and day out in their newspapers.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL