My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Monday—Last winter in Paris I read the manuscript of a book, which I have just received in bound form, called "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank. It is the story of a child who went through the invasion of Holland and all the fears that Jewish people had to live through at that time tells us simply and vividly what it was like.

I think it is well for us who have forgotten so much of that period to read about it now, just to remind ourselves that we never want to go through such things again if possible. Her story ended tragically. She died in the concentration camp at Bergen Belsen. This diary should teach us all the wisdom of preventing any kind of totalitarianism that could lead to oppression and suffering of this kind.

* * *

In the newspapers yesterday there was an account of the rider that has been attached to the Independent Offices' Appropriation bill. This addition to the bill has hardly been noticed, but, if it is accepted and passed, it would keep all Communists, Fascists and other totalitarians out of government-subsidized public housing projects.

The amendment provides that no one who belongs to any organization on the Attorney General's "subversive" list shall be sheltered in a low-rent public housing project for which the Federal government has provided any public funds. There are approximately 100 such organizations, most of them Communist or Communist-front organizations, and I imagine this amendment was aimed particularly against these organizations. But it also can be invoked against such organizations as the Ku Klux Klan, the Silver Shirts, the Columbians and the Japanese-American Black Dragon. This means investigating all kinds of people of very moderate means, since only that group is eligible for such housing. It seems to me that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is going to be kept very busy.

Sometimes I wonder whether it doesn't cost us more to do things of this kind than it would be to educate all of us so that we really understand why these people who believe in and join such organizations are against our particular type of democracy. A really educated public would give us a greater sense of confidence in ourselves than any amount of investigation can do.

* * *

I have a letter which asks if "it is true, as we have been told, that your Human Rights Covenant is designed to destroy the marriage laws in this country and to allow white people and Negroes to marry."

There is contained in the Human Rights Covenant a clause that states that marriage shall be entered into freely with the consent of both spouses. I suppose that would mean a white person could marry a Negro or a person of some other color or race. But I would point out to the gentleman or lady who signed the letter as "Member of Freedom of Choice" that as long as our Constitution is in existence nothing in the Human Rights Covenant can override those rights granted in it. Nor could the covenant force any of our states, which are given sovereignty under our Constitution, to accept anything in the covenant, which is not under Federal jurisdiction, until they agree to it.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL