My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Monday—I listened on Friday to an almost endless rehash of accusations against the United States made by the Polish delegate to the U.N. General Assembly in a general debate. He went on and on, and offered nothing new.

I came out from the meeting thinking how much less time it would take if they boiled these speeches down and simply said: "We, the Soviet delegation and the satellites, do not believe anything to be true that the people of the United States say. We think we could handle the rest of the world; therefore we are now centering our hate and our attacks on the U.S. It does not matter if the U.S. denies anything, because we don't believe them. There is no proof that they can offer us, because we are accustomed to putting on shows and deceiving people and therefore we feel quite certain that they will do the same."

I left for Rochester, N.Y., that night and spent Saturday with my old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Harper Sibley, speaking at a Chamber of Commerce lunch at noon on the United Nations and doing two TV shows in the afternoon and early evening on the U.N. I therefore missed hearing the Soviet delegate, Mr. Vishinsky, who apparently backed up everything that the Polish delegate had said.

How are we going to break this impasse? We do not believe the Soviets and they do not believe us. Is there any way, short of letting the Soviets rule the world, which will persuade them that we are a peace-loving nation, that we will leave them alone if they remain within their own borders, and that we are more than willing to grant them freedom to live and govern as they choose? If both of us could be persuaded that the other was not a danger to our national existence, how much better off the world would be!

The Rochester United Nations Association chapter is the largest in the United States and aspires to become the largest one in the world. The people in this community have become internationally-minded, and they are doing something which I wish every community in the U.S. would do. They have brought over 14 boys and girls from foreign countries, carefully studied their backgrounds and chosen families in Rochester who have agreed to take them in for a year. The youngsters are enrolled in our public schools. They must know English when they arrive, and they attend the senior high school year.

They have been here for just seven weeks. All of them apparently are happy in their homes and in their school. They told me they found more liberty given to young people in this country, but also that more responsibility was incurred. They found the attitude between young people and older people freer, both as regards teachers and parents in the home. Yet they felt more was expected of them than perhaps would have been the case at home.

These youngsters, because they have had a chance to live in American homes, will go back really knowing something about life in the U.S. They call them in Rochester the "Junior Ambassadors." That they certainly are, for they will not only learn much but will teach their hosts, both young and old, a great deal.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL