Grandpa’s advice on child-rearing

Saturday, August 14, 1943

My grandfather-to-be offered some advice at the end of his letter to Lois. His view illustrates how much child-rearing practices have changed since I was born almost 72 years ago: “To toughen up a child, them’s my sentiments. A little guy should not come in crying pitifully, unscathed, but jubilant and [with] a shiner, a beaut, to show for his troubles.” How could a man of peace, as I knew him all my life, express such views? One reason was his suffering back in Russia when the Czar encouraged outraged peasant to rob, rape, and pillage throughout Jewish communities on Easter as revenge for the crucifixion. Thus, he believed it was necessary to raise tough children who could stand up to oppression. He added in his letter, “I appreciate every crumb of sympathy they [Christians] throw our way.…But McCormick and his gang slip up very much on their own in sowing hatred to others.”

As for the Russians, they had just smashed through the Nazi line in Smolensk. Yugoslavia was being fortified as the new German line in Yugoslavia while government offices were being transferred from Berlin to Vienna. Whatever McCormick thought, the Russians were willing to help us fight Hitler, as this political cartoon demonstrates.






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