WWII: Witnessing the Holocaust | Personal accounts of persecution and genocide by the Nazi regime
CHANNEL | Home Service
FIRST BROADCAST | 27 May 1945
DURATION | 13 minutes 53 seconds
These historic recordings were made by the BBC's Patrick Gordon Walker five days after the liberation of Belsen. The emotions expressed range from the almost uncomprehending bewilderment of British soldiers faced with the task of providing a massive relief operation to the tremulous joy of the survivors, for whom the nightmare was finally over. Patrick Gordon Walker also collected a more comprehensive version of these experiences as a personal diary which he presented to his BBC chief on his return.
At this time Patrick Gordon Walker was working for Radio Luxembourg, which in 1945 was staffed by the European Service of the BBC as part of the vanguard of broadcasters following the Allied advance through Europe. After the war he went into politics, becoming Labour MP for Smethwick. Within five years he was a Secretary of State and a Privy Councillor, recognised by Clement Attlee as a man of 'exceptional ability'.
Seven days after its liberation, the horrors of Buchenwald are made known.
A Canadian reporter provides a first hand account of a concentration camp near Zutphen.
The broadcaster recounts the horrors of Belsen.
The survivors and the soldiers who relieved Belsen bear witness to the horrors of the camp.
A Red Cross appeal seeking relatives of children liberated from concentration and labour camps.
The only Briton found alive in Belsen describes his experiences there.
A Polish commercial artist describes his experiences in a German concentration camp.
'Tonight' on the trail of Dutch war criminal Pieter Menten.
'Blue Peter' explores the Anne Frank story.
Harrowing memories of the concentration camps recounted by survivors.
The story of the man who warned the Allies about the Final Solution.
One of Auschwitz's most famous survivors talks to Sue MacGregor.
Broadcaster Ludovic Kennedy meets Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
Documents reveal that Britain knew something of the Nazi slaughter of the Jews as early as 1941.
Helen Bamber shares her memories of the liberation of Belsen.
Artist Marianne Grant tells of how she was forced to paint for Dr Josef Mengele in Auschwitz.
A Holocaust survivor and her grandson return to the scene to unlock her story.
Should more be reported on the atrocities in France?
The BBC broadcasts more information on the atrocities in occupied Europe.
Parliament's reaction to news of the Nazis' liquidation of the ghettos.
BBC management considers ways of combating anti-Semitism.
The importance of disseminating news on the liberated concentration camps.
News reports continue to emphasis the liberation of the concentration camps.
A harrowing and moving account of the conditions in Belsen.
Polish authorities thank the BBC for its support.
The submission of Patrick Gordon Walker's diary on Belsen.
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