US Olympic Basketball Team Loses to Soviets II

Lead: In the final game of the 1972 Summer Olympic basketball competition, the Soviet Union’s team won but under circumstances that remain questionable to many even to this day.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Politics are never very far from the Olympics. Nations use the games and their athletes to prove the superior worth of their political and social systems. During periods of high tension like the cold war, antagonists such as the United States and the Soviets, opponents in other arenas, economic, political and military, sought to use the Olympics as an extension of warfare to the track, the swimming pool, the parallel bars and, in 1972, to the basketball court.

Read more →

US Olympic Basketball Team Loses to Soviets I

Lead: In a heart-breaking and controversial final result, the 1972 U.S. Olympic Basketball team lost to the Soviet Union. The game remains a subject of bitter dispute to this day.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The 1972 Olympic Games in Munich were supposed to be the happy games. They were designed by West Germany to erase the memory of the 1936 Hitler games with all their overt Nazi propaganda and the terrible aftermath of war and Holocaust. Such was not to be. On September 5th, eight terrorists from Black September, a Palestinian organization linked to Fatah, broke into the Olympic village and took nine Israeli Olympians hostage in their apartments. Eighteen hours later the crisis came to a climax and eventually ended in a failed rescue attempt at a nearby military airfield. The tragic deaths of all the Israelis cast a pall over the summer games which, despite the hostage incident, Olympic officials declared must continue.

Read more →

Berlin Spy Tunnel II

Lead:  In 1954 the Central Intelligence Agency dug a 1400 foot tunnel under the border of East Berlin to spy on Soviet military messages. It was an engineering triumph, but there was one hitch. The Soviets knew it was there.

Tag: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: George Blake was a member of the British Secret Intelligence Service. During the early days of the Korean War he was captured by the North Koreans and held for three years. Sometime during his prison stay he went over to the other side. In 1954, when the spy tunnel was first discussed by the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6, Blake was in the meeting, took extensive notes, and passed the sketches and drawings to his KGB control officer within two days.

Read more →

Berlin Spy Tunnel I

Lead:  In 1954, at the height of the Cold War, the CIA and British MI6 dug a tunnel under divided Berlin to spy on the Russians. They thought it was a secret.

 Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: The city of Berlin during the 1950s was divided east and west and was the focus of much tension between the Soviet Union and the western Allies.  It was also crawling with spies. One of those was the CIA's station chief in Berlin, William King Harvey. He received information that the Soviets had laid three telephone and telegraph cables 18 inches beneath the soil near the road to Shönefeld Airport. Over these lines the Soviet military command in Berlin communicated with Moscow. Building on the experience of the British who had conducted a similar but smaller operation against the Soviets in Vienna, Harvey convinced his bosses to construct a tunnel, intercept the cables and tap them.

 

Read more →

Moscow Show Trials III

Lead: The Moscow Show Trials in the 1930s were just the public feature of the Great Purge that eliminated all opposition in the Soviet Union to the totalitarian dictatorship of Joseph Stalin.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: The public trials were the outward display of a widespread elimination of potential dissidents from Soviet society.  The secret police, under Stalin’s personal direction, received the power of summary execution of anyone. This power was essential because the evidence in the trials was pried from the prisoners by torture and intimidation. Old Bolsheviks such as Yevseyevich Zinovyev, Lev Kamenev and Nicholai Buhkarin were forced to confess, convicted of crimes they most certainly did not commit, and then executed. Yet the real damage to Soviet society was done in secret. Mensheviks, revolutionaries, foreign engineers, Trotskyites, parasites, spies were simply hauled out of their homes and shot. It was death by category, anyone who had a memory or dared to profess independent thought was eliminated. Then Stalin turned on the Red Army. When the generals refused to cooperate and confess he had them executed in the summer of 1937.

Read more →

Moscow Show Trials – II

            Lead: During the late 1930s in a series of Show Trials and secret trials and executions Josef Stalin at last eliminated all opposition to his personal domination of political life in the Soviet Union.

            Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

            Content: Having eliminated his rivals in the Politburo and crushed resistance to agricultural collectivization through the Terror Famine in which as many as 15 million peasants were either starved or slaughtered, Joseph began to find himself under quiet attack from within the party. In 1932 his critics began circulating a long and detailed critique of his economic policies and incompetent leadership. Stalin struck back and directed the secret police to find out who wrote the document, determined who had even read the document and purge them all from the party. In 1934, Serge Kirov, the party boss in Leningrad and a rising star in party politics was assassinated, probably by agents of Stalin. The dictator used the crisis as an excuse for a severe nation-wide cleansing, that has come to be known as the Great Purge.

Read more →

Moscow Show Trials – I

Lead: To eliminate opposition to his personal domination of the Communist party indeed, all of the Soviet state, Stalin perfected a new twentieth century art form: the show trial.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: V.I. Lenin, author of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet state, after a series of incapacitating strokes, died in January 1924. Already the struggle for succession was under way. This struggle would last until the eve of World War II. The leading candidate for leadership was Leon Trotsky, but Trotsky had problems. He was not a modest man, was a relatively late convert to Bolshevism, and his strong ties to the Red Army, which he had sculpted nearly from scratch in the early 1920s, made the rest of the party clan very nervous. His chief rival was Josef Vissarionovich Stalin, who, after abandoning seminary preparation for the Orthodox priesthood, made his initial mark in party circles as a bank robber. Lenin had given Stalin charge over the central party machinery and the Georgian bureaucrat took to this less than desirable task with relish. He gradually came to dominate the secret police and re-shaped the party in his own image, removing allies of his rivals and installing his own supporters in places of authority.

Read more →