My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Friday—In the last few weeks I have had a number of letters from women who want to reach all the women of the world and pledge them to do whatever is necessary to preserve peace in the world.

I have to answer that it is practically impossible to reach the women behind the Iron Curtain and that to reach women in other countries would have little value unless one could also get the acceptance of women in the Soviet Union and its satellite countries.

The fact that there is a sincere desire among the women of the United States for peace would be accepted anywhere, I'm sure, and I think the same would be believed of women in any other country. However, to accomplish anything really constructive one would have to have unrestricted discussion and a binding agreement among all the women of the world as to what steps should be taken to try to keep the peace of the world.

From my own point of view one of the most important steps is freedom of communication among the nations, a freedom which allows the use of every means of communication—television, radio, movies, the written and spoken word—and which allows free access to people. At present, citizens of Russia and the satellite countries cannot leave their homelands and visitors from other countries cannot get into these countries except after very careful scrutiny and the granting of visas which are exceptionally hard to obtain.

Whatever is done in the field of communication is just a drop in the bucket. But drops in the bucket are important, and therefore we must support the Voice of America, for one thing. As private citizens, I think we also must support the Crusade for Freedom, which is carried on not by the government but by private funds and individuals.

The Crusade for Freedom sponsors Radio Free Europe, which has just opened a station powerful enough to reach over into the satellite countries. The opening date of the campaign is September 3 and the Crusade for Freedom will be appealing to all of us in this country for funds. Plans are in the making to expand their radio work and really bombard the Iron Curtain countries with as much truthful information as they can get across. It is felt that the truth will shake the Kremlin and the satellite nations. The Freedom Crusade also launches balloons that carry messages to the satellite nations.

There is hope that Russia will hesitate to risk war if her people are being bombarded with information that shows the mother country to be undependable. The truth from abroad is aimed to convince the Russian people that they are being handed a lot of propaganda by their masters, and this may make them and the peoples of the satellite countries more friendly to us.

The theme of Radio Free Europe in the satellite countries assures captive peoples that they have not been forgotten by the outside world, which sustains the hopes of those who are not Communist and tells them to believe that someday they may be free again.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL