My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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BERLIN—It was truly a luxurious flight here on Pan American's President Special but the night seemed rather short. I went to sleep about 10 pm and was being offered breakfast at what was 3:10 a.m. by my time. But it was 8 am in London.

We had only time to stretch our legs and walk a little in London before we started off again for Frankfurt, Germany. But there we had several hours between flights to Berlin.

It was the first time I had been in Frankfurt since February 1916 and it is of course an entirely different city. At that time wherever you looked there was rubble. Now the rubble is all cleaned up.

Much rebuilding and much repairing to old buildings has been done and I think the saddest thing was to return to the Roemer which once was one of the beautiful squares of Europe and see how little is left there to remind one of the past.

We walked from there to the Cathedral and the proportions of the church with its graceful red sandstone columns still give you some feeling of the old effect. But there is only one stained glass window left in the Cathedral to remind one of the beauty that once was.

Somehow as I looked at it I felt more keenly than ever that it is wicked for human beings to destroy beauties that should belong to the world and not to any individual country. Certainly there was enough beauty destroyed in the last war to give us all pause. And if we are not moved by the destruction of human life we should be conscious of the fact that history forever will hold the nations that destroyed so much that was beautiful responsible for depriving the world of these things essential to culture.

We visited the Goethe House almost untouched by the war. And much of the furniture taken out during the war has now been returned to its place.

One of the most remarkable clocks I have ever seen stands in the stairway hall on the second floor. It is still running and gives the year the month and the day.

In the bottom of the clock there is a medallion inserted with a black cutout bear on a leash which is held by the little boy. As the hour strikes the bear and the boy move. I could not help thinking how that clock must have delighted generations of children.

This was a spacious house in which Goethe grew up. The kitchen which still has the well from which water was drawn right inside is facinating. The beautiful copper saucepans and molds of different kinds make a beautiful show. I am sure they loved food in this house and saw to it that it was good.

At 5:54 pm we took off for Berlin and arrived at 7:30 pm. The U.S. general in command here sent his car to meet us which I thought was kind and much to my delight I found a young aide, Colonel Pough, who had been at the White House and had ridden with me on some of my early morning rides.

The Colonel was very kind and saw us to our hotel. We also were met by Dr. Ulich-Beil who will take me to see some of her work. She is head of the women's organization here which is the counterpart of our league of women voters.

E.R.
PNews, NSJ, 6 September 1957