The Political Opinion of Europe Concerning America, September 12, 1922 (summary)



America's foremost woman humanitarian points out path of duty through famine lands.


Voters' league luncheon attended by 350, all spellbound by eloquence of famous speaker.

Miss Jane Addams issued both an appeal and a challenge to the women of America in her stirring address yesterday before the Erie County League of Women Voters at the Hotel Iroquois. Her subject, The Political Opinion of Europe Concerning America, gave her an opportunity not only to relate many personal experiences in famine stricken Central Europe, but also to rehearse the facts of post-war industrial conditions in what are still loosely termed the Balkan States, and to express her own high humanitarian ideals for world service and world betterment.

Miss [Addams] cited the most flagrant instances of misunderstanding of America by the continental peoples, among them the fact that we were burning corn in place of the ordinary fuel last winter, while the children of Southern and Central Europe starved owing to the difficulties of shipment. Another fact that it is impossible for these nations to understand our attitude in regard to the league of nations, especially its partisan features, and why we hoarded 1,000,000 pounds of wool while frozen fingers and toes were being amputated by the thousands that same winter over there. The cotton situation she said was much the same, and in spite of the successful introduction of corn oil as a food and as fuel into Jewish Poland, in spite of ritualistic restrictions, almost all the efforts of America to ameliorate the industrial horrors in those lands had come to little, principally owing to endless red tape. She mentioned especially the matter of the Austrian loan, which was lost for over a year somewhere in Washington, and was finally put through when it was too late to save that country from bankruptcy. She summed it all up in the disappointment if not resentment felt in those quarters toward us as a nation for which is called our non-participation.

Her peroration was tremendously effective in the quiet sincerity. She asked the women voters present to consider what the future would say of us, when it pictured us living under the privilege of our franchise in a land flowing with milk and honey, while the little children of Europe were only 20 [percent] healthy in spite of the super-feeding with which relief agencies have been endeavoring to bring them back to normalcy, dragged out miserable lives as an eternal reproach to our blind selfishness. A thorough understanding in the minds of American women of political issues in their broader humanitarian aspects was the panacea which she recommended for the cure of this world ill of malnutrition and misery.

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