16/07/2016 Witness


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start. She is in good shape and we have the London anniversary games


next weekend. That is all your sport now.


Now on BBC News, it's time for Witness.


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


British Library in London. We have another five witnesses who have


given us a glimpse of history through the eyes of people who were


there. This month on the programme we hear from one of the hostages


freed from Entebbe airport by Israeli special forces in 1976. From


one of the Inuit children separated from their families by the Danish


government, and from the art restorer who brought Leonardo da


Vinci's Last Supper back to its former glory. But first, a


terrifying accident in space. Michael Foale was on board the


International Space Station Mir in 1997.


Mir was built by the Russians. The impression you got when you opened


up the hatch and went into Mir for the first time was twofold. The


first was the smell. It was a smell a bit like an oily garage. Maybe a


little bit of must because we did not have mould on the Mir. Then the


other impression was clutter. It is like going into the oesophagus of


someone's throat. After about six weeks of being on the station, I had


been doing my experiments, I was very happy. I got an two up on June


25. My colleagues had been using radio control equipment to fly a


cargo ship called Progress looking at the TV screen. As I look at the


TV screen I can see that the orientation is all wrong for a


proper docking to take place. Sasha, the flight engineer, says to me


Michael, trouble. He means the Soyuz spacecraft, which was joined onto


the end of the station which was our lifeboat. I understood because of


the emergency in which he said it, he meant go there to save your life.


As I float through, I feel the whole space station 's shadow and move


around me. -- I feel whole space station shudder and move around


with. I feel like this could be my last breath. I am looking for the


walls and waiting for them to part. The klaxons go off when there is a


pressure leak. Then I felt my ears popping which means the areas


leaving the space station and there was a whistling sound. In 23


minutes, if we did nothing, we would start to go unconscious. Sasha comes


to me and does not say a word. He feverishly starts trying to remove


cables leading into the spectre module. Sasha looks around for a


large hatch which could be put in place. We put it on and as it went


on it kind of sucked in. Because the station had been hit by the


Progress, we were tumbling and rolling. There was no electric power


and the batteries were giving out. There was no fan running, limited


carbon dioxide removal and no communications with Moscow or


anybody else. It was a totally dead station. This is not something you


see in movies where it all gets solved instantly by some brainy


chap. It took probably six hours. We used the Soyuz spacecraft and just


fired the Jets to stop the space station tumbling and rolling. And


then, wonderfully, we came into sunlight just after this, and all of


a sudden, the fans started to come on and the lights came on and I


said, Vasily, we have done it. However, for the next month, the


station was in operable in any normal sense. We could just sustain


our lives and nothing else. When finally the shuttle came in October,


I was really, really quite happy to see them. As we backed away from the


Mir station, I looked at it and I thought, I don't really mind if I


never see that again! Astronaut Michael Foale remembering


the worst collision in the history of manned space flight. In 1976, a


group of Palestinian and German hijackers were holding more than 200


people hostage at Uganda's Entebbe airport, when Israeli specials


forces stormed the building Seri Davis was one of the hostages.


We decided to take both children to the United States. The plane did not


go straight to Paris as we thought. I heard some shouting. Two Young


Arabs and a woman, a German, were running in the plane with


ammunition. We heard a voice from the cockpit, and that was the main


hijacker who was a German young man. He told us that the plane is


hijacked by the extreme part of the PLO. He also told us what are the


demands. He said releasing Israelis from five countries and he said he


wanted $40 million. We did not know exactly where we are flying to. We


landed in Entebbe, in Kampala. EDI mean, the president of Uganda, and


the leader of the terrorists who were waiting for the aeroplane, they


took us out of the plane surrounded by Ugandan armed soldiers straight


to the old terminal, 250 people together and frightened so much --


Idi Amin, the president of Uganda. The separation which happened on the


third day was the second very traumatic moment. They start calling


names and we found out after three or four names that they are using


only Israeli passports. I had lost most of my family of my parents'


family in the Holocaust, and hear a German woman and a German young man


are doing again a separation will stop we were sitting in the Israeli


room. We saw they are releasing grips of other people and we knew


that we have an entirely different fate. On the seventh day, we heard a


shot and then a few shots afterwards. I grabbed Benny and I


put myself, all my body on him, and I prayed to God not to get hurt but


to be killed immediately. The shooting around was terrible, the


smells and the noises. And then somebody said, listen, guys. I


lifted a little bit my head and I saw an Israeli soldier. Until now 40


years later, I described him as an angel. He said in Hebrew to us,


listen guys, we have come to take you home. When we landed at home,


people were singing and shouting. Everything was very happy around us,


but for us, it took more time. I can only have hope that maybe one day


for our children, for the next generation, it. And we will be able


to live without these frightening moments. And Sarah Davidson later


wrote are about her experiences during the hijack.


In 1951, the Danish government removed 22 Inuit children from their


families in Greenland, then a Danish colony, and took them to Denmark.


The plan was to immerse them in Danish language and culture so they


could grow up to form a new elite in Greenland society. Helen was one of


those children. TRANSLATION: In 1948, the


authorities in Greenland held a national congress with the danish


colonial administration. They discussed the idea of sending 20


Inuit children to Denmark to learn Danish. The idea was they would


return to Greenland and teach their peers Danish. The authorities sent


out telegrams to priests and headteachers in Greenland's coastal


towns. They were requested to find bright children in all those towns.


They had to be intelligent because they needed to learn Danish quickly


and they had to be between six and ten years old. One day, two grand


colonial masters showed up at my house and asked if I would be


willing -- if she would be willing to send me to Denmark. They said it


was a great chance for May. The day I was leaving for Denmark, we walked


down to the harbour from my house with my little suitcase. From the


boat I looked at my mum. I could not way that her. I was just too upset.


I kept my arms down. I thought, why are you letting me leave?


In Denmark, I was put with two different foster families. The first


one was a doctor outside Copenhagen. I did not feel welcome in that


family. I just felt like a stranger. The second foster family were like a


fairy tale compared to the first. They were very warm-hearted people.


As far as adults were concerned, I did not trust them. They had sent me


to Denmark so far away. The following year, in 1952, 16 of us


were sent home to Greenland. When the ship docked I grabbed my little


suitcase and rushed down the bridge into the arms of my mum and I talked


and talked about all that I had seen but she did not answer. I looked up


at her in confusion. After awhile, she said something but I could not


understand what she was saying, not a word. I thought, this is awful, I


cannot speak to my mother in a more, we speak two different languages. I


had barely recovered from the shock before the director of the


children's home tapped my shoulder and said come on, get on the bus,


you're going to the orphanage. I thought I was going home to my mum.


Why was I going to children's home? No one answered. I got on the bus


and I could not see the town through my tears. It was later revealed that


at the conference in 1948, the Danish Red Cross were present. They


suggested that when the Inuit children comeback to Greenland, a


children's home should be built for them. They thought we should not be


sent back to live in worse conditions than in Denmark. With my


mother, the relationship was never really rebuilt. The way my mum gave


in will stop it was in the days when Greenland was a Danish colony and


the can only masters were masters in the worst sense of the word. -- the


colonial masters. As far as the danish authorities are concerned, I


felt very bitter and very disappointed. I have not been able


to understand how they could turn us into an experiment. It is just


incomprehensible and I am still bitter about it. I will be until the


day I die. Last Supper went on to work with


children herself. She is now retired and lives in Denmark. -- Helene went


on to work with children. You can catch up online and watch thousands


of programmes in our archive. In 1973, the Soviet Union and the


West were racing to produce the world's first supersonic airliner.


But at the Paris airshow, things went disastrously wrong during a


display by the Russian plane. Test pilot John Farley was in the crowd


that day. When the plane came no there


appeared to be no hint of trouble. But some seconds later, she was


diving and about to crash. It for itself to pieces and exploded and


rainfall of bits and pieces hit the ground.


I'm sure that there were an awful lot of people today who don't even


know that the Russians had a go at doing a supersonic airliner. It got


to be -- the nickname of Concordski because the press were looking for


similarities. It was easy to say they must have stolen our ideas but


I don't think that was the case. It is remarkably like Concorde with the


same delta shaped wings. A lady save it technician has assured me this


airline will have a drooped snoot like Concorde. In Paris 1973, what


we were faced with was two supersonic airliners and there was


an doubted league competition to see who could put on the best flying


display. -- undoubtedly competition. On the last day of the show we


watched Concorde with its manoeuvres of terms and passes. Then it was the


turn of the Tu-144. It climbed steeply and then suddenly the nose


went down from the steep climb very violently. The airliner got close to


the ground. It pulled out and broke up. It was later that evening on the


radio that we heard quite a large number of people had been killed on


the ground because the airline had crashed in the middle of a small


village. There were so many rumours about what happened. The official


story which nobody in the business is believed was there was a loose


the top referrer in the cockpit and he fell forward across the controls


when the aircraft levelled off from its climate -- a loose photographer.


The French had a reconnaissance plane flying above the air field to


record what the competitive airlines were doing and this would apply


especially to the Tu-144. I think they had unexpectedly seen this


French reconnaissance aeroplane. They immediately stopped climbing


and tried to go out underneath it. That was probably the cause of the


accident. After the accident, I don't think the world heard much


more about the Tu-144 at all. It never flew outside Russia and there


was very little information about what went on. I'm sure also that a


lot of people would have said that was because of the accident. In


actual fact, their engine technology was not up to the standard that the


West had got. With hindsight, we just look at what happened after


1973 and we say Concorde one and the Tu-144 lost.


Test pilot John Farley. And now for our final film this month. In the


spring of 1999, a small team of experts in Milan completed the


mammoth task of restoring one of the world's most famous and treasured


paintings, Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. It had taken 20 years and


cost millions of dollars. The Last Supper was painted here 500


years ago for the refectory of Santa Maria, but due to his experimental


fresco technique, it started to flake away almost as soon as


Leonardo da Vinci had finished it. Now a mammoth restoration has


attempted to save one of the world's masterpieces from disappearing


completely. By stripping away centuries of


botched restoration attempts, lines which were crude and inexpressive


are now delicate and refined. The mural is by no means perfect, and


some critics feel too much paint has been removed.


She is now in her 90s and still working as an art restorer. Once a


year she goes back to Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper to keep her work


up to date. That is all from Witnessed this month at the British


Library. But we will be back next month with another round-up of


history. Thanks for joining me. And from me and the rest of the team,


bye-bye. Good afternoon. We are closing in on


the warmest weather we have seen so far this


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