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|Title||Anna Louise Strong letter to Eleanor Roosevelt regarding German and Soviet actions in the Baltic, October 12, 1939|
|Author||Strong, Anna Louise (1885-1970)|
In this letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, Anna Louise Strong praises her ability to "puncture the hysteria of the Dies Committee with a little decency and common sense". She expresses her frustration with the committee's activities, and thinks that the committee's source, "Krivitsky", is giving inaccurate information about the Soviet Union and "has the marks of an impostor". Strong is glad that both Roosevelt and Winston Churchill seem to agree with the argument she's been making in defense of the Soviets' choice to sign a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany. She describes the current "Finnish hysteria" as a false story, "manufactured from above" by (she suspects) the British government in an attempt to "switch the war from Germany to the USSR". Strong adds that the Baltic states, contrary to some reports, were dealt with fairly by the Soviets in the annexation process, and that there is "sincere satisfaction" for the people of the Baltic states regarding the treaties that were signed. She notes comments made by Baltic diplomats suggesting that their position is even better thanks to the Soviet decision not to enter into war against Germany, a comment she calls "rather different from most headlines" .
Strong talks optimistically about the repatriation of Baltic Germans -- which she describes as largely voluntary -- as a process whereby "the Latvian people will begin to own their own lands and industries". She believes the Baltic States can be an example of "buying out the capitalists" and non-violent establishment of socialism, though her husband is skeptical. Strong describes the repatriation as a way of costing Germany "her outposts of Baltic empire" without bloodshed .
She points out to Roosevelt the elections held in Soviet-occupied Poland where all adults over the age of 18 are eligible to vote regardless of "sex, race, nationality, religion, education, residence, or previous activities". Strong admits that her comments are "one-sided, to give you the side that is buried rather deep in the papers". Strong suggests that a visit by Roosevelt to the Soviet Pavilion, which they had previously discussed, may be unwise, and notes that she considers it "very inadvisable to attract any unnecessary attacks on either you or the President these days".
Anna Louise Strong (1885-1970) was an American journalist and political activist throughout her life. After spending much of the 1910s working as a progressive advocate for child welfare, she became involved in the labor movement in Seattle, and through that movement increasingly identified herself with international communism. This advocacy, along with her work for the Seattle Union Record, connected her to the events surrounding the Seattle General Strike in 1919. Strong later left Seattle, and spent much of the 1920s and 1930s living in the Soviet Union, meeting with men such as Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, and writing books about her experiences for Western audiences in an attempt to build support for the USSR. During World War II, she continued to promote the cause of communism, although her support for the Chinese communist movement ultimately alienated her from the government in Moscow, limiting her to one visit to the Soviet Union in the final two decades of her life. She spent most of those years living in the People's Republic of China, befriending Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong, and continuing to publish books and articles in support of communism until the end of her life.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945 as the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (as well as being the niece of an earlier American president, Theodore Roosevelt). In the 1930s, she had become a prominent advocate for the New Deal and the African-American civil rights movement. During World War II, she became an advocate for the United Nations, and later served as the United States' delegate to the U.N., chairing the commission that composed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970--Correspondence
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962--Correspondence
World War, 1939-1945--Baltic States
|Digital Collection||Pamphlet and Textual Documents Collection|
|Digital ID Number||PAM0394|
|Ordering Information||To order a reproduction or inquire about permissions contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please cite the Order Number.|
|Repository||University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division|
|Repository Collection||Anna Louise Strong papers. Accession No. 1309-001. Box 4/18|
|Physical Description||2 leaves; 27.5 x 21.5 cm.|
|Digital Reproduction Information||Scanned from original text or image at 150 dpi saved in TIFF format, resized and enhanced using Adobe Photoshop, and imported as JPEG2000 using Contentdm software's JPEG2000 Extension. 2010.|