hawkeye (hawkeye7) wrote,

Rememberance Day

'Eichelberger felt that the Russian people and their leaders should be grateful for the American presence in Siberia... He was surprised and angered when the Russian newspapers criticized the American troops and questioned the motives of the American intervention. He was amazed that the Russian peasants resented the presence of American troops and treated them with the same disdain they showed for the Japanese, British and French forces. Complaining that "it is impossible to imagine a more illogical crowd," he wrote his wife that "we will never get any thanks from that crowd." He added, "This is the best school in Americanism I have ever seen;... any half-American coming over here would be turned into a real patriot because some of the biggest liars and crooks in the world are assembled here and they are all knocking us."

'Eichelberger admitted that the American intervention was based on faulty premises... but he still believed that America's motivations were superior to the selfish interests of the Japanese, British and French. He was puzzled that the Russian people could not perceive America's moral superiority. He concluded that this failure was due to the corruption and inferiority of Russian society itself... "all the inhabitants are dirty and smell like billy goats," and "the average place here is so unsanitary and dirty that no white person could live in it." He concluded, "Few of the men or women seem to posses any of the solid virtues which have made America a great country."'

-- Paul Chwialkowski, In Caesar's Shadow: The Life of General Robert Eichelberger (1993), p. 23

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