Hitler Comes to Power II

Lead: The voters who gave Hitler his chance at power were a strange mix.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1930 Hitler was determined to lead Germany, but having failed in one illegal attempt in 1924, the so-called Beer Hall Putsch, he wanted to be elected to office. The Great Depression offered him the chance. Votes for the Nazis soared as unemployment and social frustration made very appealing Hitler’s message, a neurotic mixture of militant socialism, national pride, and half-baked socio-babble.

 

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Hitler Comes to Power I

Lead: In 1933 one of the most sophisticated, religious, cosmopolitan nations on earth selected as its leader one of history’s great thugs.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: How Germany could have allowed itself to become mesmerized by Adolf Hitler is a quandary. After World War I, a draconian peace settlement had been forced on Germany. Hitler played upon feelings of national humiliation. There was a loose, undefined conviction that the greatness of Germany was being denied by an international conspiracy of Communists, Jews, and others who were preventing the Reich from taking its legitimate place in the Sun. Hitler hammered away at these shadowy enemies of national splendor.

 

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Wannsee Conference III

Lead: During World War II the Nazi extermination of Jews and other genetically undesirable groups was reduced to banal bureaucratic efficiency.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the summer and early fall of 1941, nearly everywhere German Armies were triumphant. The plains of Russia passed quickly under the tracks of German tanks pressing ever-eastward into the Soviet heartland. In this euphoric period of Nazi hubris when all the world seem to bow in deference to their ambitions, the decision was made to move in a more systematic way to accomplish one of Hitler’s great desires, the total annihilation of the Jewish race and all other groups considered by the Nazis to be genetically inferior.

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Wannsee Conference II

Lead: In January 1942, a group of high-ranking Nazi bureaucrats met in the Berlin suburb of Grosse-Wannsee. Their host was Reinhard Heydrich, affectionately known as der henker, the hangman.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The men were in Wannsee to plan the implementation of one of Adolf Hitler’s great desires: the continent-wide extermination of the Jewish race and all other groups he felt were genetically subhuman. Heydrich’s career as a German Naval Officer had been cut short in 1931 after an aborted flirtation with his civilian superior’s daughter, and he joined the Nazi SS. His talents soon attracted the attention of Heinrich Himmler, and as a result Heydrich’s rise to power was swift and decisive. After the Nazis came to power he helped Himmler consolidate party control over national police forces. By 1939 Heydrich was in charge of the Reich Central Security Office in charge of all police functions including the secret police, the Gestapo.

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Wannsee Conference I

Lead: On January 20, 1942, fourteen high-ranking Nazi officials gathered for a brief afternoon meeting in the Berlin suburb of Grossen-Wannsee. They met to organize the Holocaust.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Adolf Hitler’s leadership style was unique. He would give general orders to his associates and then set them against one another in a bizarre bureaucratic survival of the fittest. Each of his henchmen would compete to demonstrate within his sphere of authority just how vigorous was his support for the Führer’s vision. In no other endeavor was this more clearly demonstrated than in the final solution to Judenfrage, the “Jewish question.

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Barbarossa II

Lead: By December 1940 Adolf Hitler had decided to attack Soviet Russia late the following spring. In March he compounded that blunder with a catastrophic error born of pure rage.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Before Hitler could attack Russia he had to clean up the deteriorating situation in the Balkans. He rescued the Italian Army which was being beaten up by Greeks, he dragooned the Bulgarians into the Tripartite Alliance with Germany and Italy, and he thought he had browbeaten the Yugoslav government into same fate, but the Yugoslavs were made of sterner stuff. A popular uprising in March overthrew the Yugoslav regime and let it be known that that little country would not be a puppet of Berlin. Hitler absolutely hit the ceiling, launching into a wild rage, and ordered his generals to level Belgrade with bombing and crush the Yugoslavs.

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Barbarossa I

Lead: In June 1941 Adolf Hitler launched what would become his greatest blunder. Like Napoleon before him, he attacked Russia and endured the same crushing, disastrous defeat.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The thieves had already begun to fall out. Hitler and Stalin were quite willing to carve up defenseless Poland in 1939, but with the collapse of France in the West, Hitler began cast his eyes to the East seeking Lebensraum, literally “living space,” a vital part of Nazi doctrine asserting that Germany had as its right possession of the land of those considered racially impure, mostly in the East. This brought Russia and Germany, the two great European military, political, and social superpowers, into fatal conflict.

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PT Boats – Mighty Mites of WW II – II

Lead: During World War II, pound for pound the PT Boat was the most heavily armed ship in the U.S. Navy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: Patrol Torpedo boats, or as they were known, PT boats were often the first line of offense for the Allies in the dark early days of World War II in the southwest Pacific. They were powerful, swift and sleek, packing a punch out of all proportion to their size. A PT squadron extracted General Douglas MacArthur from beleaguered Corregidor Island in the spring of 1942, and before larger ships were present in sufficient numbers they harried Japanese shipping and naval units. Like search and destroy missions in Vietnam, each night, squadrons of PT boats would head out to sea and audaciously attack anything that moved.

 

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