Patrick Gordon Walker - Belsen Facts and Thoughts

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 member of the Privy Council, recognised by Clement Attlee as a man of "exceptional ability".

↗ Originally broadcast 27 May 1945.

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