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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Spruce Goose II

Lead: With Allied shipping in serious jeopardy due to German submarine attacks during the early years of World War II, military planners turned to aircraft manufacturers. Howard Hughes responded with the Spruce Goose.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Metal for the construction of experimental aircraft was scarce in 1942. Therefore, when the designers at Hughes Aircraft began their mock-up of the gigantic new cargo plane, they built their model using Duramold, lightweight plywood saturated with synthetic glue to make it waterproof and very strong. The basic airframe had no nails, screws or rivets, no metal at all. Skilled woodworkers crafted special joints that were bonded with glue for strength.

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Spruce Goose I

Lead: Of all the problems the Allies faced in the summer of 1942, none was more threatening than unrestrained submarine warfare. German U-boats were sinking transport ships faster than they could be built.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Fresh challenges seemed to inspire Howard Robard Hughes, Jr.. At the age of 17 he took control of the Hughes Tool Company upon the death of his father. This provided the financial base for Howard's other interests. In 1926 he migrated to Hollywood where over the years he produced numerous motion pictures and premiered actors such as Jean Harlow and Jane Russell. Hughes eventually owned and later sold RKO Pictures.

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Kalashnikov Semi-Automatic Rifle II

Lead: Originally designed to help the Soviet army best the Germans in World War II, the AK-47 has become the weapon of choice for insurgent forces world-wide.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: An automatic weapon, in particular the AK-47, has a relatively simple operating mechanism. When a firing pin hits the cartridge primer, the exploding gunpowder creates a wave of gas which propels the bullet out of the barrel at enormous speed. Caught between the bullet and the cartridge, the gas builds up pressure because it has no place to go. Near the muzzle there is a small opening which bleeds off some of the gas into a tube above or below the barrel. The pressure of the gas in the tube pushes the bolt backward, ejecting the spent cartridge and opening the firing chamber to receive a fresh cartridge from the magazine which is pushed upward into the chamber by a spring. As long as the trigger is depressed, the process repeats itself over and over.

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Kalashnikov Semi-Automatic Rifle I

Lead: The world’s greatest killing machine, with some 250,000 victims a year, is a Russian invention, the Ak-47, Mr. Kalashnikov’s semi-automatic assault rifle.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: At the high-point of Operation Barbarossa, Adolf Hitler’s ultimately disastrous invasion of Russia that began in 1941, units of the German Army were approaching the outskirts of Moscow. In September they arrived at Bryansk, a city buried in the forest along the Desna River southwest of Moscow. Nazi bombing nearly wiped out the town, killing more than 80,000. Nearly 200,000 were taken into slave camps.

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Mata Hari II

Lead: Abandoned, left to her own devices and temptations, Margaretha MacLeod in the years before World War I, transformed herself into Mata Hari, erotic entertainer, suspected spy, seductress extraordinaire.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Margaretha Zelle MacLeod married an abusive, womanizing and alcoholic Dutch army officer and for a time they lived in baronial splendor as appropriate to colonial officials in the East Indies. In 1899, after the poisoning death of their son, probably by one of her husband’s native mistresses, the couple was divorced and a penniless Margaretha returned to Europe. By 1905 in Paris she had transformed herself into Mata Hari, translated “Mother of God” in Sanskrit and “Eye of the Dawn” in Indonesian. Soon her erotic dance routine was the talk of the town and her excellent and expensive sexual services were in high demand, particularly by powerful military men. A whiz in languages from early years, she could whisper sweet nothings fluently in Dutch, English, German and French.

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Mata Hari I

Lead: During World War I, probably on trumped charges, the French arrested, tried, convicted and executed Mata Hari as a German spy. She was probably only guilty of a weakness for powerful men in uniforms.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Mati Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in Leeuwarden (lee wadden) Netherlands in 1876. Despite her Dutch heritage, she was of exotic appearance with long rich black hair, olive complexion, and penetrating black eyes. From earliest days she was often the topic of rumor and gossip in the neighborhood.

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