Mujeres Libres II

Lead: During the Spanish Civil War, a women’s liberation movement, Mujeres Libres, free women of Spain, pushed for a far more radical social revolution for women than even their male allies on the left were willing to tolerate.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Even by contemporary standards, the condition of Spanish women in the 1930s was pitiful. Clearly oppressed, women’s wages were half that of men, daughters were handed over to husbands as property, divorce was illegal. Women could not be out at night without a chaperone. Until the War, women’s rights groups focused on minor adjustments such as legalizing divorce, but during the liberating early days of the civil conflict, women’s organizations, allied with anarchist political groups, began to press for serious social change.

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Mujeres Libres I

Lead: The Spanish Civil War provided a window of opportunity for the reformation of society. Among the most aggressive groups seeking fundamental change was a feminist organization emerging from Spanish anarchism, Mujeres Libres, free women of Spain.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Political parties in the United States traditionally have been big tent consensus parties. While extremism left and right has certainly been a part of the American political spectrum, the nature of politics here pushes this sentiment to the margin. Extremists have influence, but must become a part of one of the major parties to exercise power. In Europe the development of democracy allowed a much more brilliant display of political variety, particularly up to the middle of the twentieth century. Political parties proliferated and often reflected narrow, extreme opinion.

Count Folke Bernadotte WW II Negotiator II

Lead: Having negotiated the release of thousands of concentration camp inmates in the closing days of the Third Reich, Folke Bernadotte attempted to mediate the land settlement in Palestine and paid for it with his life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Count Folke Bernadotte, head of the Swedish Red Cross, earned his reputation as a mediator, when he treated with Heinrich Himmler for the early release and transportation of internees at Buchenwald, Ravensbruck, and Theresienstadt concentration camps. While some historians dispute the importance of his intervention, his role was a vital one. Despite the moral implications of negotiating with someone like Himmler, many lives were saved in the chaotic collapse of Hitler’s regime. Bernadotte’s reputation as an intermediary in 1945 led to his appointment as United Nations mediator in Palestine after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. Both sides rejected his plan. He advocated contiguous borders for Israel, giving the new state Galilee, but turning over the Negev to Arab control, putting Jerusalem under U.N administration and allowing Arab refugees to return to their homes in Israel. Arab negotiators, who rejected the legitimacy of Israel in the first place, turned their back on Bernadotte’s efforts and according to essayist Cary Stanger, Israeli “confidence in the mediator was eroding.” Some in Israel began to plot his removal.

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Count Folke Bernadotte WW II Negotiator I

Lead: In the closing days of World War II, Count Folke Bernadotte, head of the Swedish Red Cross, was instrumental in the release of thousands of concentration camp inmates. For millions it was too little too late.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As the decades pass it is difficult to recall the dilemma facing many Europeans in the early 1940s. From the fall of France to the fall of Stalingrad, nearly everywhere Adolf Hitler was triumphant. National Socialism, driven by the German military machine, seemed to many to be the wave of the future. Attitudes toward Hitler ranged across the moral spectrum from enthusiastic collaborationists such as Vidkun Quisling in Norway to implacable foes, the latter being a very small group that got smaller before Stalingrad signaled to perspective observers that Hitler might not succeed after all.

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Muslim Conquest of Spain II

Lead: Following the expansionist inclination of the Umayyad caliphate of Damascus, evangelical Islam by 714 had conquered almost all of the Iberian peninsula. In Spain they created a brand new society.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Disunity among Christians, powerful armies, and a sense of spiritual inevitability compelled the armies of God north through Spain and into central France. Everywhere Islam swept all before it. Not until the Christian Franks outflanked and defeated the Muslims at the first Battle of Poitiers in 732, did the Islamic tide recede and retreat.

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Muslim Conquest of Spain I

Lead: The expansion of Islam in the centuries after the Prophet Muhammad’s death flowed east to India and west to the Visigothic kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula. Spain had powerful Moorish rule for more than seven centuries.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: From 712 to 1492 some part of Spain was under Muslim control. At high tide, Arabs ruled almost all of Iberia. In the end, only Granada, dominated by the massive Alhambra fortress, could resist the Reconquista, the re-conquest of the peninsula, led finally by Christian forces united under Ferdinand and Isabella. The city surrendered in the year Spain turned its attention outward and sent Christopher Columbus on his journey to a new world.
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Guano

Lead: As world population grew in the years before and after 1800 so did the demand for food. At the same time, much farm acreage was depleted, tired, unproductive. This problem was solved in part with guano.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Guano is bird excrement. Grouped with the droppings of bats and seals it is perhaps the most potent natural fertilizer, and bird guano is the primo variety containing up to 16% nitrogen, 12% phosphorus, and 3% potassium. In the mid 19th century, guano was treated as if it were gold, provoked at least one fighting war, and made enormous fortunes for growers and suppliers alike.

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Hitler Comes to Power II

Lead: The voters who gave Hitler his chance at power were a strange mix.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1930 Hitler was determined to lead Germany, but having failed in one illegal attempt in 1924, the so-called Beer Hall Putsch, he wanted to be elected to office. The Great Depression offered him the chance. Votes for the Nazis soared as unemployment and social frustration made very appealing Hitler’s message, a neurotic mixture of militant socialism, national pride, and half-baked socio-babble.