Eleanor Roosevelt to Nedra Dalmann

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Nedra Dalmann

11 April 1947 [Hyde Park]

My dear Miss Dalman:

I am sorry to hear that ADA has attracted the worst element of the Democratic party in Minnesota. I thought Mayor Humphrey was a fine young man.3

I am sorry too, that you do not think we have a right to ask whether a person is a communist or not. I do not think, however, if we asked them, we would know whether they were or not, but I can not quite understand how you can believe in Democracy and at the same time, think that you can encourage communism in this country. The two aren't compatible.

Naturally anyone who believes in communism has a right to hold their beliefs and admit they are communists in spite of the hardships which that will entail. That is why I belong to ADA instead of PCA. PCA knows that they have communists in their leadership and they are not willing to get rid of them. If they were, we would have no trouble in amalgamating the liberals in the two organizations.

Mr. Wallace is not a member of PCA. He is a very fine person and never wants to be against anyone.4 I happen to think that one has to be against the communists because I found them untruthful. The religion you belong to has nothing to do with the question of political beliefs. Elliott is not a communist. He is a Democrat, as I am. He does not belong to either the ADA or the PCA, but he would speak for either one, and feels that PCA still has enough good in it not to want to be completely on the outside. I would only be willing to see the two groups amalgamated if I were sure that PCA would be willing to take the communist element out of its leadership.

                                      Very sincerely yours,


1. See Document 292 for full discussion of Elliot Roosevelt's book.

2. Nedra Dalmann to ER, 2 April 1947, AERP.

3. Hubert H. Humphrey (1911–1978) then served as mayor of Minneapolis, a position he won in 1945 and would hold until 1949, when he left the mayoralty to represent Minnesota in the US Senate. Humphrey had been a strong supporter of Wallace's renomination as vice president in 1944 and made his political reputation consolidating alliances in the Popular Front tradition. However, by May 1946, state political battles convinced him that James Loeb was correct, "that progressives opposed to Communism had to mobilize or the American left would be lost to the Communists." September 7, 1946, he told the Minnesota AFL that "we must say what we are for and what we are against." Two days later he told a gathering in support of the UN that the Popular Front no longer worked and that its members must now rely on the Four Freedoms as the model for future cooperation. By the time Wallace delivered his Madison Square Garden address September 16, Humphrey could no longer support him: "Mr. Wallace says there are spheres of influence—I say this is one world." When Wallace visited Minnesota soon after their break, Humphrey, who remained convinced that Communists had taken over the Minnesota Farm-Democratic-Labor Party, failed to dissuade him from telling his audience that "his sympathy with the Soviet position was not to be construed as an endorsement of the American Communists" (Solberg, 111-15).

4. See header Document 194 for a similar assessment of Wallace.

On Aid to Yugoslavia, Part 1

By mid-April the Truman Doctrine dominated discussion of the future objectives of US foreign policy, especially in regard to military aid to Greece and Turkey. At the same time, US-based advocates for aid to postwar Yugoslavia grew increasingly anxious about American relief programs to that country as UNRRA had begun shutting down its operations in the first half of 1947. Michael M. Nisselson, acting president of the American Committee for Yugoslav Relief (ACYR), wrote to Secretary of State Marshall in early March, reminding him that "during discussions which concerned the post-UNRRA relief plans of the United States, the former director-general of UNRRA, Fiorello H. La Guardia, expressed fears that adoption of a unilateral relief policy might result in discrimination against countries such as Yugoslavia. State Department representatives, however, repeatedly emphasized that our Government would take into account hunger and human needs and not politics."

After attacks on US aircraft flying through Yugoslav airspace1 and lingering questions about free elections and the freedom of religion under Tito's regime, suspicions persisted that any decisions made about US relief to Yugoslavia would henceforth be entangled inexorably with anti-Communist political considerations rather than critical need.2

Zlatko Balokovic (1895–1965), a classical violinist from Zagreb who served as the former president of ACYR, knew ER through their joint efforts on behalf of the committee.3 He and his American wife Joyce defended Tito's government, making a case for its independence from Moscow to anyone they could contact in the State Department. On March 28, 1947, he wrote ER to express his concern about the post-UNRRA food crisis in Yugoslavia, complaining that "Mr. Acheson has absolutely refused to grant any food supplies for Yugoslavia," and asking ER to help by making a "personal and public protest" of her own.4

As Marshall was out of the country, ER addressed her concerns to Acting Secretary Dean Acheson.5

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Nedra Dalmann

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Nedra Dalmann