01/04/2017 Witness


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outside the European Union is clear. Nicola Sturgeon is this scholar must


be given a choice. Now, stalemate. Now, it is time for Witness with


Tanya Beckett. Hello. I'm Tanya Beckett. Welcome to


Witness here at the British library in London. This month, we have


another five people who have witnessed extraordinary moments in


history, first-hand. We will hear from a woman who volunteered with


Mother Teresa in the slums of Calcutta. The worst crash in civil


Asia Asian history, and the environmentalist behind one of the


world's first bans on cars. But first, in 1972, US President Richard


Nixon travelled to China for an historic meeting for building


relations between the countries after more than 22 years of Cold


War. Western Lord was one of the American AIDS on the trip. Today,


President Nixon is visiting China. The first American statesman to have


settled on Chinese soil since Chairman Mao came to power in 1949.


-- Winston Lord. Many of us were a little disappointed in the arrival


arrangements. This was a huge geological event and we navy thought


there would be big crowds and in fact there were a few people. --


naively. We then realised this was keeping in line with the fact we


have been enemies for years and you could not turn a page immediately.


And so these two great countries, the most powerful nation on Earth


visits the most populous nation on earth. I was special assistant to a


Henry Kissinger, the National Security Adviser, and I was in


charge of orchestrating and putting together the thick briefing books


were the President for his trip to China. My first impressions that


Beijing was that it was a very bleak, rather depressing place. It


was very drab. Everybody was dressed the same. Very few cars. Mostly


bicycles. We arrived at the guesthouse and to our surprise, they


announced that Chairman Mao would like to see President Nixon right


away. This was Chairman Mao acting like a traditional Chinese emperor,


not giving you any warning as to when you go to be summoned to his


presence. I worked for many presidents, including several


close-up. President Nixon was by far the most well versed in strategic in


international relations. He was extraordinary. Whatever his claws,


one has to grant him bat. As a person, he was quite shy. He was


always somewhat engaging in banter or small talk. -- flaws. Both sides


had clear reasons for trying to reopen communications after 22 years


of mutual enmity and indeed fighting each other in Korea. When you meet


someone of historic significance you have two figure out whether you are


impressed with the personality because you know he is important, or


whether you would be impressed if you did not know who he was.


Kissinger and I agreed that even if we went to a cocktail party and


Chairman Mao was there and we did not know who he was, he would have


exceeded some power and attraction. This is not to glorify him, he was a


monster in many ways. The meeting itself, at first, puggle asked. It


was only about an hour with translation. -- puzzled us. But it


was declared a success from the very beginning. At the conclusion of the


meeting, the Chinese came in with photographs of all of us at the


meeting. Resident extent and Kissinger looked at each other and


said that Mr Lord was not at his meeting. Cut out all the voters. --


President Nixon. It was a ready humiliating for the US Secretary of


State not to be the meeting while the National Security Adviser was.


But to have in addition to that some punk in his early 30s also sitting


in on the meeting... It is worth coming 16,000 miles just to stand


here and see the wall. Join me in raising your glasses to Chairman Mao


and to the future of the Chinese and American people. We were in the


middle of a geological earthquake. There was a combination of nurses


deal working on this, but also a sense that we were frankly in the


midst of making history. And Mr Lord went on to be the ambassador to


China and was involved in the country for the rest of his career.


Next, in March, 1997, Catholic nun Mother Teresa step down from her


charity work with the poor in India due to her failing health. It was


known as one of the poorest cities in the world. You would see people


who were lying in a pool of their vomit, that Esk River, in filthy


clothes covered in life. So to go and lift of those people and taken


to the home and clean them, it took a lot of kindness to do the kind of


work they did. -- excreta. Mother Teresa and her sisters of Charity


live in one of Calcutta's poorest slums. In addition to the


traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the sisters


take a doormat one of service and obedience to the poor. -- the


sisters take one of service. We saw her every morning on the way to


school. We had a Mother Teresa nun who came and said if you would like


to come and help come you can come to the baby's home. -- babies' home.


It was quite overwhelming. They had rules doormat rows and rows of cots.


-- they had rows and rows of cots. So we went and spent a morning


helping to give the baby is a bath. It was nice to hold the bottle and


feed a baby and these children, they needed affection a lot, so the


babies liked to be cuddled. My sister went around with Mother


Teresa's nuns and they used to regularly visit a washing clinic and


pick up live babies from abortion buckets. -- abortion clinics. We


once saw a baby thrown in a garbage dump. I found the very authoritarian


way in which the order was run not something that I would ever be able


to agree with. I remember thinking that the nuns lived such an austere


life. She said you should suffer for Christ and offer your suffering to


God. And I could not bear that, because I thought we should try to


fight poverty, and that people don't have to suffer so much on earth.


I saw Mother Teresa again many, many years later. She was that much


older, more wrinkled. My mother asked Mother Teresa to bless her


grandchildren. And my mother said to her, my daughter used to come and


volunteer. Then she said very, quite arrogantly, I felt, at the time, it


she said yes, yes, used to do these things when your little. What do you


do now? -- you used to. I have never doubted for a second that I have


done the right thing and this was the will of God. It was his choice.


There were millions out for her funeral. Things like sense, that is


not my thing at all, but since millions of people wanted her to be


a state, I did the work she did was exceptional. And if she has to be a


saint, she has to be a saint. Mary speaking at home in Bangalore. In


March 1970 seven, two jumbo jets collided, killing 583 people. It was


the worst crash in aviation history. Captain Robert Brand was the


co-pilot on the Pan Am plane that was one of the few who survived the


collision. The jumbo swept out of the mist and more than 150 miles an


hour. -- at more than. It crashed into the plane straddling the


runway. The fog came in and the visibility was just about nil. And


the captain was taxiing the aeroplane only at about three knots,


because that was as fast as he felt like it was safe to go. The Pan Am


aircraft was given permission to leave the standard had done the taxi


Wakerley takeoff point. Now, the Pan Am pilot says that he was told to


proceed down the main runway, and to leave the main runway and back onto


the taxiway, at the next Russian. He was Neville able to do that, because


that was the point of impact. -- he was never able to. We looked up and


saw him coming down the runway at us. I saw his landing light shaking,


and that is how I knew he was moving. I could not believe that man


was taking off. I started yelling to get off the runway and the captains


started turning the aeroplane. I looked back out my right side


window, and saw him lifting off the runway. So I close my eyes and duct.


And basically said a very short prayer that he missed us. When he


does, all that was, was a short bump. No big noise, no big shaking.


I thought, thank ITV staff. Then I looked up for the fire control


handles. And that is what -- that is when I first noticed that the top of


the aeroplane was gone. So I jumped to the ground, which was 40 feet


from the cockpit floor to the ground. And I think the Lord that I


hit on some grass. -- I thank. There were about 50 people that had


already gotten out on be left wing of the aeroplane. And I started


yelling at them to jump off. And one poor lady, she jumped first, and


everybody else jumped right on her and broke her back and both legs and


both arms. After we had been out there probably five minutes, the


centre fuel tank blew up. And that sent a flame probably 250 feet in


the air. And then the air plane just fell apart. We only had like 65 that


got out of our plane altogether. The plane burst into flames and carried


on down the runway, disintegrating as it went, until the main piece of


the fuselage came to rest more than half a mile away from the point of


impact. No one survived the KLM crash. I always from day one


believed it was the KLM's captain's fault. -- KLMcaptain's fault. He


disregarded all procedure when he went to take the takeoff. Nobody


will ever know why he was in such a hurry and to got the way he did.


The Captain Cook did you to fly until he retired and he spoke to us


in 2016 and has since sadly passed away. Remember, it can watch Witness


every month on the BBC News Channel, or catch up on over 1000 radio


programmes on our online archive. Just go to the website below. Next,


we are going back to 1989, when Mexico City took the unprecedented


step of severely restricting private car use on its streets. Our guest


was the person behind the effort to cut pollution.


Another miserable, choking day in this gives you -- big cyclicity,


undoubtedly the most deluded capital on earth. The smog slowly poisoned


the 20 million inhabitants. Just breathing is like smoking 40


cigarettes a day. Mexican traffic is the worst in the


world. Millions of large, thirsty American cars criss-crossing the


world's largest city without a thought for fuel conservation.


And he still campaigns on environmental issues in Mexico.


Finally this month, we're going all the way back to prerevolution


Russia. A pioneering photographer travelled to the furthermost corners


of the Russian empire and recorded a disappearing lifestyle in


magnificent colour. Michelle is his grandson. -- Michel.


My grandfather was one of the pioneers of colour photography. It's


a unique example of this quality of colour. This is close to 100 years


old. At that time you have to realise that the only photograph in


colour were taken indoors. It was probably the first to do a lot of


work outside. -- he was. This is a very nice pic on the canal, where he


did a lot of shots. You really feel something extremely natural. You can


really feel that this guy was very pleased to be taken and at the same


time the composition of the picture is great. He was able to travel


anywhere in the empire. He got permission from the tsar to travel


everywhere, even the areas that were very difficult to access. Bukarah


today is use -- Uzbekistan. It is in the south-east of the empire,


bordering Iran, Afghanistan and China. My grandfather was somebody


who was extremely open-minded. He was really a Renaissance man and in


his work he tried to show the different categories of people, in


terms of religion, origin. This is a Jewish school. A teacher


and some pupils. The image was obtained by projecting the free


negative on glass, in black and white, through a colour lens for the


projection, recreating the colour. This is the original notebook of my


grandfather, with a lot of technical description and some eventually


document, like with free pictures in colour. It is a kind of eccentric


Renaissance man. I like that it was a little bit like that also, I try


to be. And the more you learn the more you find this person extremely


attractive and quite fascinating. He left Russia shortly after the


revolution. He died in Paris in 1944. That's all from us this month.


I hope you will join me next month, IKEA at the British library. We will


have five extraordinary account of history through the eyes of the


people who were there. For now, from me and the rest of the team at


Witness, goodbye. Hello. This past week has seen some


really varied weather, but this weekend we will even out the


differences. We are all pretty much in the same


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