My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Wednesday—Monday evening I went to Cranford, N.J., to speak at a meeting on the "UN and You." It was a very pleasant and interesting meeting, sponsored by the college club but attended by many other organizations. The high school auditorium was filled, even in the galleries. I will have to confess, however, that I was just a trifle weary when I reached home in the evening for we got up in Hyde Park at 6:00 A.M. on Monday to drive to New York and reach the office early. Though everything I did during the day was pleasant, I was nevertheless busy every minute.

I was particularly glad to have the members of the Fortnightly Club meet with me on Monday afternoon. This is a group started by my aunt, Mrs. Douglas Robinson, many years ago. They take a subject every two weeks when they meet for discussion and I have heard some very interesting discussions among them, but in the last few years I have been so busy I have not been a regular member and it was, therefore, a great pleasure to be able to meet with them here again.

A very pathetic letter has come to me from a woman in Israel and it seems to be one of those situations which perhaps only the interest of people in general might help and therefore I am quoting from her letter here.

"It concerns my daughter, Minni Bar-Ness, of Tel-Aviv, who on January the 3rd, 1954, left Israel by the English airliner Sky-Ways for Teheran to see her husband, who has been working there for some time. Unfortunately the plane had to make a forced landing in Baghdad, and being found in possession of an Israeli passport, the Iraqi police took my daughter out of the plane and imprisoned her.

"Since then six weeks have passed and all efforts on the part of the Israeli, Dutch, English and other authorities were ineffectual and fruitless. The whole world is informed about the matter and calls it a 'kidnapping.'

"My daughter is 31 years old and married to a Dutch citizen. She holds Israeli and Dutch citizenship. It is a tragic fact that this is the second imprisonment in her young life, for she was from 1942-46 in German concentration camps, the last year in Belsenbergen. She is the mother of a five-year-old boy, who is with me, but being a very sensitive child suffers very much because of the absence of his mother.

"My daughter had sent only a few words to her husband in the first two weeks of her imprisonment. They told about her sufferings and about not having any connection with her family. She is kept there and we do not know what will be her fate."

Perhaps the government concerned, Iraq, will realize that this poor young mother is not a danger to them and will allow her to return to her family.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL