07/05/2017 Witness


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Hello, and welcome to Witness, with me, Tanya Beckett,


back here at the British Library in London.


We have got another five witnesses who have shared their personal


This month on the programme, we'll meet the Israeli lawyer


who prosecuted the architect of the Holocaust.


We'll meet a Chinese archaeologist who worked on the statues


And the son of Charlie Chaplin invites us into his home.


But first, we're going back to the 1980s and the beginning


At that time, stigma about the condition was rife.


But, in 1987, Princess Diana agreed to make a highly symbolic visit


to the first HIV/Aids unit in Britain.


Our first witness, John O'Reilly, was a nurse at the unit who welcomed


one of the most famous women in the world.


For everybody affected by HIV/Aids around the world,


Officially, the Princess was simply opening the first purpose-billed


But more significantly, she demonstrated her confidence


to staff and the public that AIDS cannot be taken


People were frightened, really frightened, because we didn't


The media were unkind, particularly the tabloid press.


I hated all of that kind of misinformation and hysteria.


The headlines were scaremongering, ignorant, misleading


As far as I'm concerned, the gay plague was the homophobia,


I didn't even tell fellow nurses or doctors what I did.


I just said I was a nurse at the Middlesex Hospital.


We didn't have medical or nursing staff.


We couldn't attract staff because people were frightened.


The unit had created other pressures in the hospital.


Staff treating people with AIDS are subject to extra strain.


We have to be careful with blood and body fluids,


obviously, because that is the way it is transmitted.


Obviously if we are dealing with those things, we will use


But we're not going out of our way use spacesuits and the rest


My first impressions of Princess Diana was she was warm,


She took our consultant down a peg or two, who'd really kind


of condescendingly said, "do you know what this is?"


He was holding up an x-ray of a chest.


She just very politely said, I am patron of the British Heart


and Lung Foundation, of course I know what an x-ray is.


I thought "Good on her, I like that."


Anticipation always surrounds what the Princess of Wales wears


for an engagement, but the obersveration has rarely


Just one question dominated the whole day.


Would she or wouldn't she wear gloves?


Princess Diana demonstrated that she cared because she took


This was Diana, the Princess of Wales, coming in without gloves


and shaking our patients' hands, as well as ours.


They were hiding from the media, unhappy with how the epidemic


Finally, one agreed to a picture of the Princess shaking his hand


to prove you cannot catch AIDS through casual contact.


It did not take much convincing for him.


And the night it aired, I got lots of notes pushed


And I never got any negative reaction from the public at all.


For a royal to shake a patient's hands, somebody at the bus stop


or the supermarket could do the same.


I think Princess Diana's departure has done the world a lot of harm,


John now works as a psychotherapist in London.


But this is not about battles, it is about the many women who met


and married foreign servicemen when they were serving in Europe.


In 1946, thousands of war brides sailed from Britain to Canada to be


reunited with their husbands and begin their new lives.


NEWSREEL: Since 1939, some 24,000 British girls


3,000 of them have already been sent to Canada


We left our families and our relatives, our friends,


for this one man that we were in love with.


It was a marvellous thing that the Canadian government did.


And, I mean, they moved 47,000 women and over 22,000 children.


When the war started, we thought London was going to be blitzkrieged.


If you don't know what blitzkrieging is, it is having hundreds of bombers


B1 bombs were terrifying because you could hear them coming.


And this one came down with the engines just roaring.


And it hit the houses at the back of us.


The Canadians, of course, are part of the Commonwealth.


Another big ship tying itself up at the British port.


So the Canadian troops started coming over.


This Canadian soldier that became my husband was a very


I was 18 or 19 years old when I met him.


It was a case of being young, being in love.


She seemed to think it was a good idea.


More wives and kiddies are off to their land of opportunity


We didn't know these men very well when we agreed to marry them.


On arrival at the port, everyone is safely stored aboard


the ship which will take them on their journey.


We wondered what it was going to be like, of course.


18,000 adopted daughters willing to learn about Canadian


We did not know thing except that Canada was vast.


When I first came to this house, there was no running water,


there was no electricity, there was no bathroom.


I think that, I'll admit, that is probably why


When husbands work away, you're glad to see them


There was a lot of us who were very brave,


It was, well, I would say an adventure.


Betty Hawkins talking to Witness from her home in Canada.


Now to one of the greatest archaeological finds


In the spring of 1974, a group of people in China


accidentally uncovered the site of the vast Terracotta Army.


Our next witness is an archaeologist, Li Xiuzhen,


who has devoted her career to these life-size warriors.


NEWSREEL: It's a vast terracotta army being unearthed from the tomb


it has laid in for more than 2000 years.


I work on the site of the terracotta army in China.


And Li Xiuzhen still works on the site of the terracotta


Remember, you can watch Witness every month on the BBC News channel


and you can catch up on all of the films along with more


than 1,000 radio programmes in our on line archive.


The Nazi who planned the Holocaust in 1951 was put


Gabriel Bach was a young Israeli lawyer at the time and was chosen


as one of the prosecutors in a trial attracting worldwide attention.


In a ninth week of this Jerusalem trial for the murder of 6 million


Jews, Albert Eichmann takes the stand in the bullet-proof dock.


Eichmann was the head of what is called the Jewish Department


In many German documents, it was called Operation Eichmann,


Hitler and Himmler and these people who made the order to kill


all the Jews in 1941, they, of course, were more guilty.


But Eichmann was in charge of the whole of the carrying out


Eichmann, in 1960, was caught by Israeli agents in the Argentine.


Two days after he arrived in Israel, the Minister of Justice called me,


and he said "Mr Bach, I imagine you will be one


"But would you be prepared to be in charge of the investigation?"


The whole world spoke about it, in all the newspapers.


You could see that Eichmann was proud about anything he did


in order to prevent the saving of a single Jew.


TRANSLATION: And then they took my mother,


They called mother and shot her, too.


I put him on the stage as a witness, and then I asked "What happened


He said he had no idea what Auschwitz meant.


And he said "My wife, when we came there, was sent


"Which we were told afterwards was the gas chambers."


"And I had a little daughter, two-and-a-half years old,


and of course, they also said to the left."


"Then they asked 'What was your profession?' and I said


"So sent to the right, they wanted me to do some work."


"So the SS commander said he had to speak to the commander-in-chief."


"So it took a few minutes, and then said the boy,


And I saw the witness, he was back there, with with tears


And he said "I couldn't see my wife any more,


"I couldn't see my son anymore, he was swallowed in the crowd."


"But my little daughter, she had a red coat, and that little


red dot, getting smaller and smaller - this is how my family disappeared


At that time, my little daughter was exactly 2-and-a-half-years old,


and I had bought her a red coat, two weeks before that.


And so when the witness said that about the red coat,


it suddenly cut off my voice completely.


Until this very day, I can be in a restaurant,


I can be in the street, and suddenly feel my heart beating,


and I turn around and I see a little boy or a little girl in red coat.


The former Isreali prosecutor, Gabriel Bach, speaking


The former Isreali prosecutor, Gabriel Bach, speaking


In April 1872, the silent movie star, Charlie Chaplin,


returned to America after two decades in exile in Switzerland.


For our final film this month, Witness has been to the comedian's


former home on Lake Geneva, to meet his son, Eugene.


Charlie Chaplin, my father, he was a pioneer in silent movies.


He understood, he saw the potential of filmmaking.


He made about 80 films while he was in America.


By the age of 23, he was world famous.


This is the house where I grew up - but it's a museum now.


I'm the number five of the eight kids my father had with Oona.


In the 1950s, there was a witch-hunt against the liberals in America,


and my father, he was accused of being a sympathiser to communists.


Plus had problems with his private life.


So when he went to Europe, he received a telegram,


saying that they revoked his visa, and that he had to go in front


If you wanted to re-enter America. He was very hurt by that. He said,


if they are going to treat me like that, I'm not going back.


Switzerland is the last part of his life, where he didn't do as many


films, but Mackie really had the normal life he always wanted. -- but


he really had. We lived in a bubble. My parents were really in love with


each other. He was funny at home. But he was very strict on education.


He wanted us to do well at school, and he wanted us to be well-behaved.


At home. We would have dinner every night. If you wanted to get up to go


to the toilet you would have to ask permission. We all had our turns to


be able to speak. With me, he always said, you know, you can do whatever


you want. But whatever you are going to do, do it well. In the 1970s he


was invited to go to America to receive an Oscar. He was surprised


and bothered about it. I think he had very mixed feelings. Because of


all the bad memories he had there. My mother's view, she thought it


would be a great virginity for my father and America to kind of full


give each other, and she was right. -- great opportunity. The reception


in the United States was great. Obviously it was much rather than he


expected. He was very touched by that. Especially at the Oscars. A


standing ovation. 20 minutes. All his friends were there. Afterwards,


he was in a better mood. I could feel that the pressure of having to


go over there was over. I've learned one thing, he is mine emotionally,


but he is not mine any more. Because he is such a public figure. He is


everyone's, and everyone has their theories about him. Before, I got a


very mad about that. But now I accepted. -- except it.


Five years after his return to the US Charlie Chaplin died on Christmas


Day, 1977. His son Eugene still lives near the family mansion. That


is all from Miss this month. From me, Tanya Beckett, and the rest of


the Esteem, goodbye. -- Witness team.


This sunshine makes all the difference at this time of year.


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