Graphic Witness: Hugo Gellert
Graphic Witness home page

Hugo Gellert: Comrade Gulliver

page title

BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

Mr. Keen showed me a letter from the Social Director of a New York Hospital: "We have had for a long time now people coming in to us asking for food and stating that they have not eaten for several days and it can be seen by their appearance that they are telling the truth. This week we have had four children admitted with the diagnosis of 'starvation'. One, who was found eating out of the garbage can, has died since admission. Another infant of three months is about to die. The mother was feeding it sugar and water."

"How can this be" I asked Mr. Keen. "Was it lack of rain that killed the crop? Was it frost that destroyed it? Did the locusts devour it?" "No," he answered. " Men, women and children starve. But not because of drought, nor frost, nor locust. We have so much wheat, so much corn, so much milk, fruit beef and mutton in America, we don't know what to do with it all. Our warehouses are so stuffed they are ready to burst."

"And people are left to die of starvation?"

"These people are poor. They have no money. They can not buy food."

"Then why don't they give it to them for nothing?"

"Oh, that wouldn't be profitable," he said, and laughed because of the perplexity visible on my face.

4