MAY 4, 1945
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Until I actually see a photograph of Hitler dead, I shall feel rather skeptical. The horror of Mussolini's death would, I think, make any of the German officials do everything possible to escape a like fate.
It has often been said that Hitler had a double. Unless one really saw his body, and it was identified by people who knew him but who were not his close associates, I think one would be justified in wondering if he had not killed his substitute and tried, himself, to escape. It may be that escape is impossible, but one cannot help feeling that these men made their plans long in advance. That they will make every effort to escape seems a foregone conclusion.
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To many of us who have watched the development of TVA and know what it has meant to human beings, as well as to river and land development, the reappointment by President Truman of David E. Lilienthal is a source of great satisfaction. Recognition of a good job done anywhere encourages people to do good jobs everywhere else, and so, while I want to congratulate Mr. Lilienthal, I also want to congratulate the President on encouraging such good public service. The best plans in the world have to be carried out by human beings—and human beings always do better work when they know that it will receive recognition.
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I want to add a little to what I said yesterday about implementing legislation passed for the benefit of our servicemen. I believe that every community should have a committee made up of its leaders in education, agriculture, business and the professions; that these men and women should be ready to give counsel to returning servicemen, and to continue doing it as long as it is needed.
Take education as an example. I am already getting letters from boys who were drafted before they completed high school. If they are fortunate enough to come home, they will undoubtedly need not only to complete their high school course, but possibly to go on to further training and education. It is obvious, however, that after service in the armed forces it will be quite impossible for them to return to the regular classes. They will have matured; the work they have done in service will have given them certain things they did not have when they went away. Special courses should be available to meet their needs, and they should be allowed to move forward faster than the youngsters whose schooling has been uninterrupted.
In numerous communities throughout our nation, training for many occupations is not available. Yet no community should be without the information as to how that training may be obtained for any of their boys who needs it. There may not be many boys returning to your community at the present moment. But the preparation for their return should be going on daily, because you will find there is much you have to learn before you are prepared to meet the needs of the men who have fought the war for you.