Shabbatai Zevi II

Lead: In 1665, Shabbatai Zevi declared himself the long-awaited messiah of Israel. Within a year, he had converted to Islam and thrown the Jewish world into chaos and disruption.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After being cast out of his home town of Smyrna, Zevi began a long period of wandering, through Palestine and Egypt, attracting followers and continuing his life-long struggle with alternating periods of manic-depression and exaltation, during the latter of which he evidenced truly bizarre behavior. This both offended and attracted a growing number of followers. His most important was a brilliant rabbi, Nathan of Gaza, who, after meeting Shabbatai Sevi in February, 1665, experienced an ecstatic vision that saw his new friend as the Messiah. From that point, Nathan tried to convince him and others that he was, in fact, the long-awaited representative of God. This highly respected, independent confirmation tying his appearance with the kabbalistic story of creation, kicked off the Shabbatean Movement. By May 1665, Zevi was sure of himself and fully engaged in asserting his messianic mission.

Shabbatai Zevi I

Lead: In the mid-1660s the Jewish world was rocked by the appearance and claims of a messiah, Shabbatai Sevi, who some have deemed the most significant millenarian movement in modern Jewish history. He, however, was a piece of work.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: He was born in Smyrna, a wealthy port city on the west coast of present-day Turkey. His family recognized a native intelligence which destined him for the rabbinate. He studied under some of the most prominent rabbis in Smyrna and probably around 15 began a life of isolation, abstinence and asceticism, during which he struggled with powerful sexual temptation. Shabbatai became a rabbi about the age of 18 and became attracted to Kaballism with its emphasis on the devotional life and the coming of the messiah.

Sinking of the Patria

Lead: In late 1940, 267 Jewish refugees desperately trying to enter Palestine died when the ocean liner Patria was sabotaged in harbor of Haifa.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the dark early days of World War II, many Jews sensing the closing trap of Fascist hostility and the strange hesitation to provide a haven for Jews that seemed to grip the United States and England, tried to emigrate to Palestine. This region, at that time, was administered under a League of Nations mandate. Holding the mandate was a highly conflicted Great Britain. Sympathy for the plight of European Jews over the centuries had led to the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which committed Britain to work for a refuge for Jews in Palestine. This was almost immediately neutralized by a Foreign Office White Paper, which recognized the legitimate rights of Arab Palestinians. As the power of Fascism in Germany and Italy grew so did the flood of Jewish immigrants trying to escape. War in 1939 made the need to flee more desperate and various Zionist groups such as Hagana and Mossad, organized transports which illegally smuggled refugees by sea into Palestine.


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Anne Frank IV

Lead: Just hours after Anne Frank and her family were discovered in their hiding place, the “secret annex,” and arrested by the Gestapo, two of the family’s helpers recued Anne’s diary.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After being betrayed to the Nazis and their Dutch collaborators by an informer whose identity is still unknown, Anne Frank, her family and four others in hiding with them were eventually deported to concentration camps where they all perished except for Anne’s father Otto Frank, who survived Auschwitz.


Anne Frank III

Lead: After twenty-five months of hiding from the Nazis in the secret annex behind their home in Amsterdam, Anne Frank and seven other Jewish fugitives were betrayed.  

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Through the long ordeal, four of Otto Frank’s most loyal and trusted employees sustained the group by smuggling in food, supplies, clothing, books and news from the outside world.  Though there have been well researched theories and speculation regarding the identity of the informer, a positive ID remains unknown to this day. Even though the “helpers” were organized, deliberate, and very careful in their activities, there were other employees working in the building and, of course, there were people in the neighborhood, perhaps even Nazi sympathizers or those seeking to ingratiate themselves with the occupiers, who could have noticed unexplained traffic or provisions going in and out of the building. It would have taken only a single phone call to bring down the police on the little group living behind the bookcase.


Anne Frank II

Lead: In June 1942, Amsterdam, Anne Frank received a gift for her thirteenth birthday – a red plaid book with blank pages. It became her diary - the most famous diary in the world.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Just weeks after her birthday, the Frank family went into hiding. When the Nazis occupied the Netherlands in 1940 there were about 140,000 Jews in the country – a large number in Amsterdam. During the occupation, it is estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 Jews went into hiding – aided by the non-Jewish population and protected by the Dutch Resistance. Unfortunately, approximately one third of Jews in hiding were betrayed or discovered by the Nazis. 


Anne Frank I

Lead: Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1929 (June 12), Annelies Marie Frank would not live to see her 16th birthday, but she left a powerful memoir of Jewish life in Nazi occupied Europe, a legacy for the victims of the Holocaust.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Anne was the second of two daughters born to Otto and Edith Frank, a prosperous middle-class Jewish-German couple. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, they began to implement systematic anti-Semitic legislation. Otto, convinced that conditions for Jews would get even worse, moved his family to Amsterdam, and there started a food additives business. The Franks were happy in Amsterdam. They made good friends, attended good schools and enjoyed family vacations. Otto’s business prospered.


Kristallnacht – III

Lead:  As a part of a steadily intensifying campaign of terror and intimidation against the Jews of Germany, the Nazis used the assassination of a minor German diplomat in Paris as an excuse to unleash a night of unspeakable horror.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Fueled by the virulent anti-Semitism of Adolf Hitler's ideological musings, driven by the constant drumbeat of propaganda hostile to the Jews, and organized by a Nazi Party aroused at the death of  Ernst vom Rath at the hands of a teenaged Jewish student, on the night of November 9, 1938, fires of hate were ignited all over Germany. Jewish businesses and homes were attacked and the sound of breaking windows filled the night. It was Kristallnacht - the night of glass.

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