Eleanor Roosevelt to James Hendrick

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Eleanor Roosevelt to James Hendrick

31 July 1947 [Campobello Island, Canada]

Dear Mr. Hendrick:

Do you think this problem of Jewish war orphans should come to our committee and if so, how would it come?

My own feeling is that without any question, these children should be returned to the Jewish community if they are to be under institutional care. If they have been in families, or foster homes where they are wanted, that is a question which requires more serious consideration.3

Dr. Grunfeld of the Court of the Chief Rabbi in London, says there are thirty to forty thousand who have been saved during the Nazi occupation by Christian institutions and Christian families, and who have been living since the liberation, in Christian homes and that the Roman Catholic institutions do not want to have them returned to the Jewish community, but the Jewish community is naturally anxious to have them returned.

This is a touchy problem and I do not know whether it has anything to do with the Human Rights Commission, but somewhere it has to be settled and I should like to know where you think it should go for solution, and if it should come to us, how would it come, and what our thinking on it should be?

                                      Very sincerely yours,

                                       Eleanor Roosevelt


August 21, Hendrick and ER discussed the problem of Jewish war orphans living in non-Jewish environments during a phone conversation in which ER said she had discussed the problem with "a number of persons interested in the matter since having written [her] letter." She then reported that "the consensus of opinion was that children who had been adopted by families should not be disturbed as a rule but that children adopted by institutions might very well be moved from Christian institutions to Jewish institutions."4

Later that fall Hendrick wrote ER to update her on the State Department's position.

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Eleanor Roosevelt to James Hendrick

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Eleanor Roosevelt to James Hendrick