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Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945
Americans React to the Great Depression
Letter to President Roosevelt

The following letter from American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940 was written in Hebrew by Mr. Greifer, a Spring Valley, New York farmer. Mr.Greifer gave the letter to a federal writer in 1938, in hopes that it would appear in the newspaper. Who does Mr. Greifer seek to represent in his letter? What messages does Mr. Greifer communicate to the President?

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"To Our Illustrious President:

Our Holy Books say: A poor man is like a dead man. You came and resurrected the poor man from the dead. You came and said: 'Wake up, forgotten man. I will give you new life. I will give you a new deal .' Like the prophet, Nathan, who said to King David: You have so many sheep and yet you want to take the last sheep of the poor man; so you said to the rich, to the Wall St. bankers: Leave the poor man his last sheep. Let him also live. All the rich men hate you for that. They know that you brought new hope to the poor plain man. They know that never again will the old times come back. May I end respectfully that your name, our illustrious President, will live forever."
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View the entire interview with Mr. Greifer from American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.