My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK, Friday—I have had another appeal from a Hungarian woman living in this country, asking those of us who are not a part of the government, at least to voice our opinion as to what is happening in Hungary at the present time to innocent people.

I have seen a number of letters that were smuggled out in which people told their relatives over here of the terror in their cities. Some of the letters told of such eerie occurrences as a knock on the door in the night or in the early dawn, a notice to leave as soon as possible and a warning to take only a few necessary belongings with them. Those who do not comply are forced into exile, probably at hard labor, and often separated from their families.

This is the same pattern followed in all police states. It is convenient in this case because back of the satellite countries lies the vast area of the Soviet Union, to which people can be deported and never heard of again.

The present deportations in Hungary are close to genocide, I think, and there must be throughout the world widespread protests against such disregard of human beings and their basic rights. I am glad to answer the appeal of my correspondents by adding my small voice to that of many who abhor the police state and its cruel abrogation of the rights of human beings.

On Wednesday Miss Thompson and I went to Mrs. Beatrice Auerbach's farm near Hartford, Conn. A more perfect place for a busy woman I cannot imagine. Mrs. Auerbach can be at her office in Hartford in 15 minutes, and when she returns to the farm she is in a complete wilderness. The cabins are set among the trees and when the sun filters through in the morning it is a sight to behold. Around my cabin were many white birches and I could just glimpse below in the hollow the blue sheen of the water in the swimming pool. I felt quite at home, for only screens surrounded my bedroom, the windows having been taken out for the summer. Breakfast on the porch in the morning was deliciously cool and quiet.

Soon Mrs. Auerbach's son-in-law took us for a tour of the farm. Their chicken business is wonderfully run, and they have a minimum of 15,000 chickens all the time. I marvel at the machinery which makes it possible to use a minimum of manpower. Their dairy is wonderful indeed, Guernseys like ours, and they sell whole milk, cream and cottage cheese. They pasturize and bottle their own milk and run a milk route. They have bought some wonderful bulls and are shortly going to begin selling purebred stock for breeding purposes. They do not, however, grow enough feed for their needs, so they are trying to reclaim some of their land. When that is accomplished it seems to me that this farm should be on a paying basis.

We lunched with my cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Sheffield Cowles, at the old place in Farmington, Conn., which I had not visited since Sheffield's mother died. It was a moving but delightful experience. I loved my Aunt, Mrs. Cowles, very dearly. She was one of the most delightful people I have known.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL