Rosie the Riveter

Lead: During World War II, women entered the work place in unprecedented numbers. Magazines, newspapers, radio and movies gave them a symbol: Rosie the Riveter.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For generations American women had been told their place was in the home. If a man’s wife or daughter brought home a paycheck it was thought the man was somehow a failure. That had to change if the allies were going to meet the threat of Japan and Germany. World War II more than any before it was a battle of production. The Axis powers had a ten-year head start on producing weaponry and had increased their advantage with allied losses at Dunkirk and Pearl Harbor. Victory would go to the side which produced the most airplanes, battleships, guns and ammunition.

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The U.S. and the Holocaust II

 

Lead: The enormity of the Holocaust only became clear after the war. Yet, Allied leaders knew that to stop it, they had to destroy the Nazis.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the beginning of World War II, the Jews remaining in Europe were unable to escape. They were caught, and many millions would soon become victims of the grim German death nightmare. It was an instrument so indomitable that even as Hitler was taking the coward’s way out in his suicide bunker, his disciples were still hard at work operating the killing machine.

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The U.S. and the Holocaust I

Lead: During the horrific 12 years of the Third Reich, millions of Jews were murdered. Could the United States have done more to stop it?

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It is hard to reject the judgment of Winston Churchill that the Holocaust “was probably the greatest and most terrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world.” Faced with such gratuitous, monumental evil, one is tempted to wonder if the forces of moral decency could not have done more to prevent this genocidal slaughter.

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Surplus Wars II

Lead: Faced with mountains of surplus war matériel after World War II, the U.S. government had to figure a way to get rid of the stuff.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Everything from toothpaste to fully-equipped Sherman tanks lay in storage depots from Germany to remote islands in the South Pacific. Of first concern to the American public was to get the boys home. Politicians and leaders were under constant pressure to demobilize the troops, and at first little thought was given to the millions of tons of supplies with which the war had been won. In the rush to feed, house, clothe, and arm 15 million active duty personnel, few plans had been laid dispose of the matériel they had used in the fight.

Surplus Wars I

Lead: To get a victory in World War II, the United States sacrificed the lives of nearly a quarter of a million of its sons and daughters, but at the Japanese surrender the war against a huge collection of surplus stuff had just gotten started.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the summer of 1940 the German war machine was nearly everywhere triumphant when Prime Minister Churchill of Britain began to warn that his country could no longer comply with the U.S. law requiring cash payment for arms purchases. To rectify this problem, President Franklin Roosevelt suggested the idea of Lend-Lease and began sending ancient naval destroyers to the beleaguered and isolated British. This was just a small component of the preparations the administration was making for war. Long before Pearl Harbor, the United States was gearing up for the greatest conflict in its history. In purely economic terms, it was a war that was to consume three times the gross national product of 1940 or in excess of three trillion 1997 dollars as adjusted for inflation.

Juan Garcia (Garbo), WWII Spy I

Lead: In July 1941, Spaniard Juan Pujol Garcia, operating out of Lisbon and then London under the codename “Garbo,” began his career as a double agent for the Allies.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Juan Pujol Garcia believed that Franco’s fascist rule would bring Spain to ruin and that an Allied victory was the only means of deposing him. At first Garcia offered his services to British intelligence and was rejected, so he turned to the German Embassy in Madrid, where he was signed up by the Abwehr, the German military intelligence organization.

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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