NOVEMBER 30, 1949
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Countess Freya von Moltke, an anti-Nazi German, sat in my sitting room the other day and told me how her husband had died and how she had taken her little boys to South Africa. She told me she left them there to come over here to lecture hoping to raise enough money to start some scholarships for exchange students between the United States and Germany.
She feels that this is the surest way of getting a democratic Germany, and that probably is the only way in which we can be sure of having a peaceful Germany. She realized that she would not face very friendly audiences when she came to this country, but she thought that in time the story she has to tell covering the days of the war would win her audiences. If they believe in her sincerity they would help her cause. Knowing the importance of Germany in the center of Europe, she is willing to do almost anything to feel that the land where her children should live has a chance of being a democratic, peace-loving country. She makes her New York appearance at Town Hall on Dec. 5.
I hope Countess von Moltke will succeed. I think schools and colleges and clubs and forums generally will find the story that she has to tell a vitally interesting one, covering the war period and the troubled years immediately afterward.
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In the course of the next few days Miss Thompson and I are going to uproot ourselves for a little while from this delightful part of town down in Greenwich Village and try just having hotel rooms for the occasional times that we are in New York City.
The General Assembly of the United Nations is nearly over and when that is finished I shall want to be at home as much as possible. But I will have to be in New York occasionally to make some speeches. I find one does not really have more than one home and that, as far as I am concerned, must be in the country. At all seasons of the year I like the country best to live in and I find Hyde Park is entirely satisfactory.
I do not want to give up New York City entirely, however. I do make a good many speeches and I enjoy going to the theatre and hearing concerts now and then. Even in a hotel I want some of my own things around me and I shall take some of them with me. For the kind of staying and flitting that I do I am hoping hotel life may be adequate. I hope I will not mind too much only visiting the Village now and then, instead of living here.
One becomes attached to the Village. It seems so like a real neighborhood. People are friendly and speak to you as you pass in the street. You feel that you really belong.
There are certain things, of course, that will draw me back over and over again. I have friends there whom I shall want to see very often. There are certain shops that simply cannot be duplicated and there are the quaint streets that frequently hold unexpected and picturesque glimpses into alleys and other dead–end streets. The young people streaming back and forth from New York University are a magnet in themselves. The Village has charm and life and vitality, but I think I may enjoy my new neighborhood as well.