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Notable New     Yorkers
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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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fell several years later, the country was overrun, the government was fleeing in despair, the army didn't stand up, the Maginot Line proved not to be there, the Germans knowing just where the gaps were. Even where the Maginot Line had been built they didn't have mobility for the guns. If you got around behind, they couldn't shoot you. That all turned up in those first terrible weeks of the movement of the Germans into France. Then Cordell Hull had the grace to say to me one day after Cabinet meeting, “This is very disturbing and very distressing, Miss Perkins. I remember that you told me when you came back from France in 1938 that you had grave doubts if the French were as strong as they appeared to be and as all the diplomats thought they were. I shall always remember that. It was a very acute observation, although not based on a very broad observation.” That was true. I didn't have a broad observation, but it was the kind of thing a social worker sees - the elements of disintegration in the social fabric. That was all it was, because I had no way of knowing that the Maginot Line had holes in it and what there was of it wasn't any good anyhow.

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