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December 15, 2015

The day that Eleanor Roosevelt went down into a coal mine…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:46 am
Eleanor Roosevelt on her way to a coal mine

Eleanor Roosevelt on her way to a coal mine

The day that Eleanor Roosevelt went down into a coal mine is a day that will live in infamy. I was only two years old on that day, so I didn’t hear about it for at least four years after it happened. But believe me, this outrage was still being discussed long after it happened.

You can read about this famous event at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leo-hindery-jr/eleanor-roosevelt-tours-c_b_509605.html

Young people today might have a hard time understanding why Eleanor’s two-mile trip into a coal mine was considered so outrageous. Women didn’t do things like that in 1935. Now there is a good chance that we might have a woman president in the USA.

There is currently an ad for Progressive Insurance in which Flo is pictured as a housewife, back in the old days when women were seen, not heard.  At the end of the commercial, a man says to Flo “Where is your husband?”  That’s what everyone said to Eleanor:  “Where is your husband?”  Very few people knew that Franklin Delano Roosevelt could not walk.

This quote is from the news story:

Begin quote

Eleanor Roosevelt, a consistent advocate for workers and workers’ rights, on May 21, 1935, shocked the nation — and the editors of the nations’ newspapers — by touring a coal mine.

According to the New York Times, Mrs. Roosevelt “smiling with eagerness as she reached the mine shaft” declined the new pair of overalls provided for her, donned a grey coat and a miner’s hard hat, and headed two miles into the mine. For over an hour and a half she discussed wages and working conditions, safety precautions and mining methods with the four hundred miners, black with coal dust, working in the two-mile stretch. (Many believe she was the first woman ever to go underground in Appalachia, defying both an age-old superstition that it brought bad luck for a woman to go into a coal mine and the equally long-held bias against women in the workplace.)

It is important to this story to also know that back on June 3, 1933, just three months after FDR’s inauguration, a New Yorker magazine cartoon, with an especially cruel caricature of Mrs. Roosevelt, ridiculed the idea that she might ever dare go into a coal mine. Well now she had gone into one, forthrightly, courageously and with great sensitivity for the workers she met.

End quote

So why am I writing about this, you ask?  This illustrates how the world has changed. Yet the story of the Holocaust goes on and on…rarely changing with the times.

 

December 14, 2015

Why didn’t FDR save the Jews?

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:58 am
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

I believe that most of the readers of my blog are old enough to know that FDR was the nickname of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the President of the United States from 1933 to 1945.

In case there are some young people reading this, you should know that FDR was a beloved figure in America, but few people knew much about his personal life.  For example, most people, including me, did not know that he could not walk and was confined to a wheelchair.

During the last years of his life, his wife Eleanor was virtually running the country. I recall that most people made fun of Eleanor because, back then, women were supposed to stay at home and let their husbands run the world.

Now FDR is being blamed for the tragedy of the Holocaust because he did not save the Jews by allowing them to come to America.

You can read a news article here which tells about how FDR did not save the Jews.

This quote is from the news article cited above:

Gerard DeGroot, in his Nov. 22 Book World review, “Did Roosevelt miss a chance to save Jews from Nazis?” [Outlook], defended President Franklin D. Roosevelt against criticism that he failed to rescue Jews from the Holocaust, asking, “[I]n any case, what was Roosevelt to do?” He could have done a great deal, and none of it would have harmed the war effort.

For example, thousands of U.S. cargo vessels, known as Liberty ships, brought supplies to Allied forces in Europe and North Africa, but when they were ready to return, often they were too light to sail, so they had to be weighed down with ballast. Jewish refugees could have served the same purpose.

Roosevelt could have let the existing immigration quotas be filled. In his 12 years in office, the German quota was filled just once, and in most other years, it was less than 25 percent filled. More than 190,000 quota places from Germany and Axis-occupied countries went unused. Filling them would not have involved changing laws or igniting controversy.

End quote

The real reason that FDR did not allow more Jews to come to America is because he wanted them to go to Palestine and set up the country of Israel. There were persistent rumors that FDR was himself a Jew.

The question of why America did not bomb Auschwitz is often asked even today.

This quote is from the news article:

As for bombing Auschwitz, DeGroot asked, “why should we assume that a raid on Auschwitz would have halted the extermination of the Jews?” Such a raid did not have to halt it; if the mass-murder process had just been slowed down — from its peak of 12,000 victims daily — lives would have been saved. And because U.S. bombers were already striking German oil sites less than five miles from Auschwitz, it would not have diverted from the war effort to also drop a few bombs on the gas chambers or the railways.

The important point in the quote above is that America allegedly knew that Jews were being gassed at Auschwitz, but FDR did nothing about it.