Lindbergh assailed by Roosevelt (4-25-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (April 25, 1941)


Washington, April 25 (UP) –
President Roosevelt today sharply criticized Col. Charles A. Lindbergh and others in this country who express the opinion that the Axis will defeat Britain.

Their viewpoint, he told a press conference, is like that of the appeasers who wanted George Washington to surrender to the British during the hardships of Valley Forge.

The German newspaper Hamburger Fremdenblatt yesterday characterized Col. Lindbergh as a “real American.” It said he “isn’t an opponent of war for reasons of passion but from burning love for his fatherland. He demands a return to the inherited continental policy of the United States, and therefore, to the Monroe Doctrine.”

Mr. Roosevelt said he was sorry that there were people with such mentalities in high places where they could write or talk.

Those who say that the dictatorships are going to win are wrong, he continued. The American people, he said, were going to fight for democratic processes.

He declared that Col. Lindbergh and others who think as he does constitute a small American minority.

Mr. Roosevelt said some people here are adopting a rather curious attitude, which has not been thought through. That, he said, is the idea – like one expressed in an editorial he had read this morning – that there is a new order in the world.

Some fear defeat

A person of this attitude, Mr. Roosevelt went on, says out of one side of his mouth that he doesn’t like dictators; and on the other side that the democracies are going to be defeated.

Therefore, he continued, this person says that while he does not like dictators, he might as well accept them.

The President said such an attitude was not good Americanism, but that it was the attitude of a minority of the people.

He said that Alexander had gone out to conquer the whole world and that he was never satisfied with his conquests. Then, he continued, there was Caesar.

May have resigned

Asked why the Army had not ordered Col. Lindbergh to active duty, the President indicated he was uncertain whether the flier had resigned his reserve commission.

But, he went on, in the Civil War, both the North and the South accepted the aid of liberty-loving peoples from other countries. Both sides, on the other hand, let certain people go, the President said. For example, he said there was Vallandigham who wanted to make peace in the Civil War from 1863 on because he said the North could not win.

The President’s reference was to Clement Vallandigham, who was so active in seeking to bring about a peace in the Civil War that Northern authorities banished him to the South.


The civil war ended about 76 years before this article was published. Just saying.