Beria (Russia) I

Lead: In a history punctuated by rulers noted for their villainy, Russia produced few leaders as efficiently cruel or as feared as Stalin's exterminator, Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his long rule over the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin acquired a reputation for ruthlessness and near barbarity in the pursuit and maintenance of his power, yet it was some of his henchmen, anxious to do his bidding and please him, who brought a whole new dimension to the practice of state sponsored terrorism.

Beria III (Russia)

Lead: After clawing his way to the top of the ailing Joseph Stalin's pyramid of bureaucratic terror, Lavrentiy Beria seemed set to succeed the maximum leader.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1938 Stalin brought him to Moscow after Beria had distinguished himself as the bloody enforcer of the Great Purges in Georgia and other southern Soviet provinces near the Caucasus Mountains. He became assistant to Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the NKVD, in the waning days of the purge, and after Yezhov's fall from power and execution, Beria took his place. He became a candidate member of the Politburo and during World War II he sat on the five-member State Defense Committee, which, with Stalin, directed the war effort. Beria was responsible for internal security as well as foreign intelligence operations and the network of forced labor camps he ruled, the Gulag Archipelago, turned out much of the raw material for the Soviet war industry.

Beria II (Russia)

Lead: Of the henchmen of Joseph Stalin, none struck fear in the hearts of Russians quite like Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born of Georgian peasant stock in 1899, Beria became a Marxist sympathizer while attending technical college in Azerbaijan. At the fall of the Russian monarchy, Beria dropped out of school to join the Army, apparently to spread Communist ideas and help undermine morale. When the Bolsheviks overthrew the Provisional government in the October Revolution, Beria returned home to finish his studies but was soon caught up in his party's counterintelligence service, the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counterrevolution and Sabotage, or CHEKA.

Beria I (Russia)

Lead: In a history punctuated by rulers noted for their villainy, Russia produced few leaders as efficiently cruel or as feared as Stalin's exterminator, Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his long rule over the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin acquired a reputation for ruthlessness and near barbarity in the pursuit and maintenance of his power, yet it was some of his henchmen, anxious to do his bidding and please him, who brought a whole new dimension to the practice of state sponsored terrorism.

Tragedy at the Munich Olympics II

Lead: In September 1972, members of the Black September faction of the PLO murdered Israeli athletes and coaches at the Munich Olympic Games. It was an elaborate and tragic publicity stunt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Beginning in September 1970, Hussein, the Hashemite King of Jordan, moved decisively to take back control of his country by attacking the increasingly aggressive PLO. Within a year thousands of Palestinians had been killed in fighting with regular Jordanian forces, Yassar Arafat and the POL leadership had been forced out of Jordan, and a new faction of extreme terrorists, Black September, had spun off to exact revenge on Hussein and Jordan. During the following months the group hijacked airplanes and assassinated the Jordanian Prime Minister, but its biggest splash would be in Munich at the Olympics.

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Tragedy at the Munich Olympics I

Lead: The tragic murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics rested on the crossroads of opportunity inhabited by the West German government and Black September, the spin-off of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It is not that they didn’t try. Though they were morally and ideologically poles apart, the Nazi government of Adolf Hitler and the democratically elected German Republic attempted to use the Olympic Games, 1936 and 1972, to improve their international public relations. In both cases they largely failed.

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