The United Nations and
a Jewish Homeland
Among the war's victims, those who seemed to Eleanor Roosevelt to have the strongest claim on humanity's compassion and charity were the pitiful survivors of the death trains and gas chambers.
They had been a weight upon her heart for a long time. In 1943 word had filtered out of Fortress Europe that Hitler had given orders for the extermination of all Jews. She took part in a memorial service of protest and had written afterward: "One could not help having a great pride in the achievements of the Jewish people; they are the great names in so many nations, and yet rage and pity filled one's heart for they have suffered in this war in so many nations." Louis Bromfield, author and the head of the Emergency Conference to Save the Jews of Europe, wired her: "The Nazis are rapidly carrying out the threat to annihilate the Jewish people of Europe as reprisal against approaching doom...." Would she serve as a committee sponsor? "I have your telegram and cannot see what can be done until we win the war," she replied. And to another, she wrote:
[I do] not see beyond the statement which the President has made, what more emphatically could be said. I will be glad to say anything or help in any way but I do not think it wise for me to formally go on any committee. 1
Behind the scenes she did what she could to squeeze visas out of the balky State Department for the refugees who managed to get