JUNE 5, 1954
NEW YORK, Friday—I stopped for a short visit the other morning at the telephone room from which the United Jewish Appeal carries forward its extraordinary campaign for funds. It is remarkable to me the number of volunteers who come in and give their time to see that nobody overlooks a contribution to the UJA.
On Thursday I had the pleasure of having for lunch in my garden my daughter-in-law, Mrs. John Roosevelt, Lady Violet Benson, and my cousins, Mrs. Forbes Morgan and Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt. These last few days are the first I have really enjoyed having meals in my little garden. I have a round table, with a large green and white umbrella over it, and some canvas chairs. Every morning I have breakfast there and read my papers and feel the day is pleasantly begun.
One letter which came to me yesterday has given me great pleasure. Readers of my column will remember that I wrote of an appeal written to me by the mother of an Israeli woman who was held in Baghdad, Iraq, when a British plane was forced down. The poor mother wrote to me saying that governments had made representations but that she was frantic because she could get no word from her daughter. And she could not bear to look at her little grandson, who was waiting for his mother's return. I had very little hope that even the pressure of public opinion from this country would have influence but I wrote a column about the whole incident, saying it seemed a pity that unnecessary grief should be inflicted on innocent people in this world.
Lo and behold, yesterday there was a letter in my mail from the young woman herself! She wrote as follows:
"After four months of detention at the CID in Baghdad, I am back home again in Tel Aviv with my husband and my little son. Though I am somewhat hazy and confused by my experiences, there is one feeling very strong in me, the feeling of gratefulness to all those who tried to help to obtain my release...I want to thank you not only for the practical side of the affair, but as well for the fact that you have shown me that, in this rather disappointing world, there are still people who stand up against injustice and inhumanity.
"Minni Bar Ness"
I am very happy that the government of Iraq saw fit to show both justice and mercy. It proves that in people as a whole there is a desire to do right. And none of us can fail to pay homage to people and governments who act justly and mercifully.
I have been thinking more and more of how some of my friends, to whom the Supreme Court decision on segregation was a matter of great personal concern, are feeling now that it is over. I would like, therefore, to give you a little quotation from a letter sent me by a brilliant young Negro woman lawyer. She tells me she is writing a book which will be published, if she ever finishes it, and adds, "Another Supreme Court decision like May 17th and I will never finish it. I will be too happy!"