JUNE 20, 1960
by Eleanor Roosevelt
NEW YORK—I am very glad to see that the Senate has decided not to require an extra negative loyalty oath from our students. It seems the Senate will set a penalty, however, for any student who is found to be a Communist or to have lied in taking his loyalty oath. While this would probably not deter any Communist from taking the oath, still it is probably a good thing to have the Senate state the warning explicitly, and beforehand.
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There seems to be a great deal of excitement as to whether Mr. Eichmann should be tried in Israel or not, and now the Argentine government seems to consider that even though he went voluntarily with the Israeli agents who discovered his identity, Argentina's sovereignty has been infringed upon.
I am sorry all this has arisen, because I suppose it will have to be discussed in the United Nation's Security Council—unless Israel and Argentina can come to some decision before the session begins.
Here is a man who committed some of the worst crimes in history. He cannot plead that he was simply "obeying orders." He sent millions of human beings to their death and knew what he was doing. Any country would recoil from having anything to do with him.
He was found in the Argentine under an assumed name. The Argentine government knew nothing about him. They had not granted Eichmann asylum. It is to be hoped that they would never knowingly have done so.
This is not political asylum in the sense that I understand it, so it seems to me very strange that Argentina should be claiming that its sovereignty has been trespassed upon. One would think they would welcome not having to conduct this trial. Surely they know that Israel will give Eichmann a fair trial.
I am sorry that in Israel there are two crimes for which the death sentence can be given. I feel that, for Eichmann, life imprisonment in Israel would be a far greater punishment than death, but under the law he may receive that sentence.
You may be sure he knew this, however, when he agreed that the time had come when he wanted to stop running away and living in hiding. I can understand his decision, for it must be a terrible existence, and with all the crimes that he has on his conscience life can hold very little that has any value.
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I was horrified the other night when a reporter asked me to comment on the possible Nazi rally to be held on July 4th in New York's Union Square. I had not heard of it before, and I cannot understand how anyone in our country can want to be a member of the Nazi party—a group that put to death millions of our fellow human beings and that was the cause of a European war in which thousands of our young people died.
The name of the Nazis must always be despised by any good American, and the mere fact that some distraught human being has been able to get together enough others like himself to want to hold a rally seems to me deplorable.