03/06/2017 Witness


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Now on BBC News it's time for Witness with Tanya Beckett.


Hello, and welcome to Witness, with me, Tanya Beckett, here at the


British library in London. We've got another five people who have


experienced extraordinary moments in history.


This month on the programme, a French artist recalls the protests


in Paris in May, 1968. The son of a famous British sailor remembers his


pioneering solo voyage around the world. And we get a personal account


of the launch of the world's most famous photo agency. First, we are


going back to 1939, when a ship with Jewish refugees on-board fleeing


from the Nazis was refused entry by US authorities. And forced to return


to Europe. Gellibrand stills on board. -- Joa Granston.


Prejudice against Jews started virtually immediately after Hitler


came to power. It became clear even to a five-year olds that I am a


nobody. My father and my grandfather were


planning, where could we go? And one of the few countries that took you,


albeit for money, was Cuba. Jews from all parts of the Reich


liquidating their properties, Kim Little generations, and drift into


hamburg... Cuba was a stepping stone to get us come at two get us to the


United States. The voyage was, to me, a two-week delight. I remember,


still to this day, drinking fizzy lemonade, all the things I shouldn't


have done. The treatment on board the ship, and what was happening in


Germany, was a huge, huge contrast. When we got to Havana, immigration


and customs came aboard and they were very pleasant, very nice, but I


learnt my first and only word of Spanish, which was manana.


Everything was "Tomorrow". We left Havana after five days. Captain


showed sailed up and down the Florida coast fairly certain that


Bruce Billson would relent and let the ship come into an American port.


-- certain that result would relent. -- Roosevelt. All to no avail.


Roosevelt was standing for re-election. Rather than have his


political enemies say, you let another 900 Jews in, decided, keep


them out, let somebody else worry. We were going back to Germany, where


there was no hope whatsoever for the Jewish people. My father didn't hide


his emotions very easily. And more than once, he cried. It became known


that four countries were prepared to take us, and this was the


Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom. The sad thing is


that those people who made it to France, the Netherlands, Belgium,


those who were still there wants the Nazis conquered them, they were the


first of the arrested, because they were German Jews. -- once the Nazis


conquered them. Lucky is a word I use many times. If my father and I


had not come to the United Kingdom in 1939, I wouldn't be here now.


Gerald Branson at his home in London. Next, to post-war Japan,


where a musician developed a revolutionary method to teaching


violin to very young children. It would later take off around the


world. Our next witnesses are two brothers, who were two of his first


pupils. VADS here is that from the age of


three, Japanese children can be taught to play simple tunes by ear.


As the Japanese teacher Shinichi Suzuki himself says, they learn to


speak with the violin at the same time they learn to speak their


mother tongue. Still playing violin decades later.


Now, we are going back to 1967 and the moment a British sailor called


Frances CHichester completed an epic solo trip around the world. His son,


Giles Chichester, was in the huge crowds that had gathered to give him


a hero 's welcome when he returned to Plymouth harbour. This was the


scene at Plymouth as a quarter million people had their long wait


rewarded by the privilege of being the first to observe, from the


shore, the approach of Gypsy Mok. A fleet of welcoming boats went out to


meet him. People said he was too old and his boat was too big to him. He


would never manage. Well, of course that was a red rag to a bull. It


made him even more determined to go on and do it. That fleet ensures him


a proud place in the company of the greatest of maritime history. My


father was in his mid- 60s when he planned this voyage. In a way, the


history of this goes back to when he did he is flying in the 1930s. He


had this sense of adventure. So flash forward to the 60s, when he


took up sailing. He made certain that all the saucy needed for the


next 100 days were properly stowed away. -- stores. Gypsy Moth for was


a very narrow boat. No fridge, no mod cons like that. He navigated,


this is critical, using a sextant. Today people use satellite


navigation. That is a big, big difference. From the Cape of good


Hope he will follow the route of the bishops to Australia, turning around


Cape Horn. -- the clipper ships. On the way out he was determined to


celebrate his birthday. He was going to have his 65th birthday en route.


And in order to do that, he took his green smoking jacket, which was made


to him in the 1930s. He obviously took some champagne to celebrate. He


was a very congenial fellow, actually. He enjoyed company. People


may imagine somebody who goes single-handedly solitary and


antisocial. Far from it. Probably the biggest crisis point was in the


southern Indian Ocean in the Roaring 40s. It was gloom all round, when he


radioed that this altar had broke, he was giving up. But he slapped on


it, he devised his own temporary self steering device. -- slapped on


it. And that saved the day. He made only one stop in the


circumnavigation, in Sydney, to mirror the root of the clippers. But


within the first few hours, leaving Sydney, he hit the tail end of a


hurricane. And the boat was knocked over, so that he went way over the


horizontal. He survived that, and he was fascinated, measuring this after


the fact, by seeing the angle at which knives from the galley draws


had stuck in the ballkid on the opposite side. Chichester had


circumnavigated the globe. More than that, he had accomplished the


stupendous foot feat alone. The voyage around the world was just


over 29,000 miles. It took him 226 days sailing time. Perhaps this son


assuming man would have preferred a private welcome. But deeds such as


his demanded a hero's reception. He was a little pottery when he got in,


so I did the celebrating for the family. I confess I stayed up all


night, partying and drinking and having a good time. With Sir Francis


Drake's soared, the Queen was to dub the sailor as Knight Commander of


the British Empire. They decided to have a public investiture, which is


an extremely rare event. This was a bit of a surprise. My father more or


less took it in his stride. The whole thing was the most wonderful


adventure. Giles Chichester talking to us from


his family home in London. Remember, you can watch Witness


every month on our website. Now, to one of the key moments of recent


history in France. In May, 1968, revolution was in the air. Students


and workers took to the streets to demand change. Witness has met an


artist who joined in the protest. The worst street fighting in the


capital since liberation in 1944. Students and police clashed


following extremist political action against the war in Vietnam's. --


Vietnam. It was 1968. Too many people were out in the same moment.


There was a factory strike and universities were a stroke.


Everybody decided to go into the street. It was 6pm at night on the


13th of May. Workers and students were together. Leaders from the


Sorbonne were meeting with leaders of workers organisations to plan


their next move. We've were fighting for our rights and for better lives.


Me and my friend decided to go back and try to get involved in making


posters for the movement. The first thing we did was to organise paints


and brushes and paper for all the people coming down. The area became


very famous and people wanted to posters to stick on the wall. My job


was to work and get the posters out and on the wall. Contact factories.


We had meetings so we could decide which were good and which word. And


a ready had to say something about it. We worked like the workers. We


could make 2000 posters, or maybe one big poster. Factories,


universities, and unions, were now coming together. The government was


trained to separate the people. We thought that was the end of the


society. Instead of that, a new people, new students and workers


came out and could work together. We stay in the French capital for our


far north film. In May, 1947, some of the world's most famous


photographers got together in Paris to form Magnum Photos. -- final


film. Magnum was a committee of spirits. ICQ is a group of lunatics.


Very passionate. -- I think it was. It was set up in 1947 by a few


dealers photographers who suddenly found the world changed, but wanted


to continue operating in the old way and were willing to take risks.


That's me. In January, 1950, I answered this advertisement, and I


think it was for a secretary research International, or something


like that. The active and dynamic party of the group was, who was


already famous from the civil war. -- of the group was Robert Carper.


And his long-time friend, Jim, was an actor in Paris in the 1930s. And


also in the Spanish steel wall. -- civil war. And that group was joined


by George Roger, who was a nonconformist adventurer. I think


they change photography in different ways. When you look at Robert


Carper's wall pictures, he was more concerned with the pictures of


suffering than any glory from the war. -- Robert Capa. I remember


another picture of the independence of Indonesia. And Robert Capa's


pictures from Palestine... They didn't want to be told what to do.


That was more important to them than having a nice fat salary. This was


from a big Magnum show. It was a cooperative at a family atmosphere.


Everybody was very affectionate. When Robert Capa and Chim came in


from Paris, they brought perfume and elegant things. There was never any


idea of you being the boss, or the secretary. A Christmas parties, Capa


would come and dance with the bookkeeper. I don't know whether I


was more enchanted with the personalities of the photographers


than with the photographs. And Magnum Photos is still going strong


today. That is it from Witness for this month will stop next month,


will be at the British Library going through five moments of history. But


from me, for now, thank you for joining us. Goodbye.


We'll do the easy bit first and then I'll give you the forecast,


which is probably the bit you're after, anyway.


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