In Roosevelt Archive, History as He Made It





A month after the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, Joseph P. Kennedy, the American ambassador in London and father of a future president, expressed grave doubts about “this war for idealism” against Hitler.

Joseph P. Kennedy, then an ambassador, criticized the war and Thomas E. Dewey in a 1939 letter to Roosevelt’s personal secretary.

“I can’t see any use in everybody in Europe going busted and having communism run riot,” Kennedy wrote to Marguerite LeHand, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s personal secretary. “My own belief is that the economics of Germany would have taken care of Hitler long ago before this if he didn’t have a chance to wave that flag every once in a while.”...

Kennedy’s letter is one of nine documents released Wednesday by the National Archives in Washington, part of a coming cache of letters, drafts and notes related to Roosevelt’s presidency. David S. Ferriero, the national archivist, said the rest of the archive, which had been in the possession of Grace Tully, Roosevelt’s last personal secretary, was expected in November.

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