Taking that unique moment as its starting point, the series traces the ways in which the previous six years of hostilities led to that critical moment when the realisation dawned that nothing was as it had been before.
WAR'S END- 9.00-9.45am, Monday 9 May 2005 The last days of hostilities in Germany. Surrender. Some confusion over VE Day, with some newspaper headlines: 'It May Be Today', as in UK people converge on London's West End looking for a chance to celebrate. Of course, itwasn't really over - there was still the long war against Japan. In the Far East those in what would be called the "Forgotten Army" prepare to continue their struggle. In Europe, though, soldiers are waiting for demobilisation, demob , and looking forward to going home. Listen again after broadcast
HOME AGAIN - 9.00-9.45am, Tuesday 10 May 2005 Moments of return and displacement. Demobilisation and memories of arriving home - wife at garden gate, marriage break up, concentration camp survivors return home, POWs return and women back in the home after war-work. Refugees seek their way back home but for others the displacement is beginning - Sudeten Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia; Germans shifting West, Listen again after broadcast
MISSING - 9.00-9.45am, Wednesday 11 May 2005
What has gone for ever? Absences, bereavement.. but also new opportunities. Physical gaps: bomb damage - streets, townscapes altered forever, villages abandoned. There is though a better view of St Pauls. Bereavement: displaced, lost/ killed children (eg. in the blitz), parents, war orphans, MIAs and trauma, casualties of war whose loss is very personal. Loss of childhood and those who have 'lost' whole countries. Listen again after broadcast
A CIVIL SOCIETY - 9.00-9.45am, Thursday 12 May 2005
The transition to a civic society but with new restrictions? The Labour party wins 1945 Election. Post-war Britain and promises: there is the Beveridge plan and the creation of the NHS, rationing is tightened and the black market prospers, housing and prefabs, squatters. Then there was the German experience: we may have been hungry but much of Europe was starving. Listen again after broadcast
OUT OF THE ASHES - 9.00-9.45am, Friday 13 May 2005 Idealism and reality - in science, politics, culture, the media & religion. The A bomb and its consequences, the politics of communism post-war, reach for the skies - the Brabazon committee, jet propulsion, radar, penicillin, Germany rediscovers radical art, post-Holocaust Judaism, new broadcasting era - Tommy Handley dies, sport - London Olympics 1948 and loss of Empire. Listen again after broadcast