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(452)

Rank #192 in Society & Culture category

Society & Culture
History

Witness History

Updated 14 days ago

Rank #192 in Society & Culture category

Society & Culture
History
Read more

History as told by the people who were there.

Read more

History as told by the people who were there.

iTunes Ratings

452 Ratings
Average Ratings
361
48
21
9
13

Continuing education

By igneous2x - Sep 14 2018
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Every episode is so informative and enlightening—what a service this is. Thank you, BBC!

So interesting!

By hannahmacxx - May 13 2018
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I learn about things, people, events that I didn’t even know existed. Very captivating and fun

iTunes Ratings

452 Ratings
Average Ratings
361
48
21
9
13

Continuing education

By igneous2x - Sep 14 2018
Read more
Every episode is so informative and enlightening—what a service this is. Thank you, BBC!

So interesting!

By hannahmacxx - May 13 2018
Read more
I learn about things, people, events that I didn’t even know existed. Very captivating and fun
Cover image of Witness History

Witness History

Updated 14 days ago

Rank #192 in Society & Culture category

Read more

History as told by the people who were there.

Rank #1: Apollo 8

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The biggest audience in TV history watched NASA's Apollo 8 mission beam back the first pictures from an orbit around the moon at Christmas 1968. The broadcast captured the world's imagination and put the Americans ahead of the Soviet Union in the Cold War battle to make the first lunar landing. Simon Watts talks to Apollo 8 commander, Frank Borman.

Picture: The Earth as seen from the Moon, photographed by the Apollo 8 crew (NASA)
Dec 12 2018
8 mins
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Rank #2: The Yangtze Incident

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In 1949 a British warship, HMS Amethyst, launched a daring escape after it was held captive for months by Chinese Communists on the Yangtze river. The ship had been badly damaged when it was fired on by Communist forces as it sailed up the river to help evacuate British citizens from Nanking during the final months of China's civil war. Using eyewitness accounts in the BBC Archive, we tell the story of HMS Amethyst.

Photo: The HMS Amethyst (F116) arrives in Hong Kong after it's epic escape down the Yangtse. (Photo Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Aug 09 2019
11 mins
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Rank #3: Strikers In Saris

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In 1976 South Asian women workers who had made Britain their home, led a strike against poor working conditions in a British factory. Lakshmi Patel was one of the South Asian women who picketed the Grunwick film-processing factory in north London for two years, defying the stereotype of submissive South Asian women. They gained the support of tens of thousands of trade unionists along the way. Lakshmi talks to Farhana Haider about how the strike was a defining moment for race relations in the UK in the 1970s.

(Photo: Jayaben Desai, leader of the Grunwick strike committee holding placard 1977 Credit: Getty images)
Jan 16 2019
10 mins
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Rank #4: The Death of Hitler

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A first-hand account of Hitler from our archives. Traudl Junge worked as a secretary for the German Nazi leader. She was in the bunker in Berlin when he killed himself in 1945 as the Red Army closed in. She spoke to Zina Rohan for the BBC in 1989.

Photo: Hitler and some of his officers. Credit: Getty Images.
Feb 04 2019
10 mins
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Rank #5: Hitler's Architect

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Among the leading Nazi inmates in Berlin’s Spandau prison, which was closed in August 1987, was Hitler's architect and minister of war, Albert Speer. He was the only top Nazi who later apologised for the Holocaust, although he claimed he never knew it was happening. Louise Hidalgo has been speaking to the journalist Roger George Clark, who interviewed Speer a decade after his release at his home in West Germany.
Picture: Albert Speer standing at the gate of his house near Heidelberg in December 1979. (Credit: Roger George Clark)
Aug 24 2018
10 mins
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Rank #6: The First CIA Coup in Latin America

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In 1954 Guatemala's left-leaning President Jacobo Arbenz was ousted from power by army officers backed by the CIA. In 2016 Mike Lanchin spoke to his son, Juan Jacobo Arbenz, about the events of that time, and the effects on his family.
Photo: Jacobo Arbenz and his wife speaking with a group of French reporters in Paris in 1955. Credit: Getty Images
Aug 03 2018
8 mins
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Rank #7: Hitler's stolen children

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During the Second World War Nazi officials searched for blonde blue-eyed children in the countries they had occupied. The children were removed from their families as part of a plan to build an Aryan master race. Ingrid Von Oelhafen grew up in Germany and only found out in her 50's that she had been born to Slovenian parents. At nine months old she was taken away and sent to a 'Lebensborn' children's home. She has been speaking to Kate Bissell about what happened during her childhood, and the effect it still has on her life.

Photo: Ingrid Von Oelhafen aged about two. Courtesy of Ingrid Von Oelhafen.
May 17 2019
10 mins
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Rank #8: Englandspiel: The Deadly WW2 Spy Game

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In 1942, a Dutch secret agent was captured by German military intelligence in the Netherlands. The agent's name was Haub Lauwers and he worked for the Special Operations Executive, a secret organisation set up by the British to wage a guerrilla war against the Nazis in Europe. So began, the Englandspiel, the England Game, a German counter-intelligence operation that led to the capture and deaths of dozens of Dutch agents.
Photo: Haub Lauwers identity card when he joined the Dutch army in exile.
Dec 13 2018
11 mins
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Rank #9: D-Day

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Eyewitness accounts of the Allied landings on the coast of Normandy during World War Two on 6 June 1944. The massive operation was a crucial step in the liberation of western Europe from years of Nazi rule and the defeat of Hitler's Germany. In this episode, we present the accounts of veterans held in the BBC archive.

Photo: The photo titled "The Jaws of Death" shows a landing craft disembarking US troops on Omaha beach, 6th June 1944 ( Robert Sargent / US COAST GUARD)
Jun 04 2019
11 mins
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Rank #10: Criminals in the community

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In the 1970s the UK tried to reduce its growing prison population. An experimental new punishment was introduced for convicted criminals. It was called Community Service. The scheme was soon copied around the world. Witness History speaks to John Harding, a former Chief Probation Officer, who was in charge of the introduction of Community Service in one of the first pilot schemes.

Photo: BBC
Aug 07 2019
9 mins
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Rank #11: Vikings in North America

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The discovery that proved Vikings had crossed the Atlantic 1000 years ago. In 1960, a Norwegian couple, Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad arrived in the remote fishing village of L'Anse aux Meadows on the tip of Newfoundland in Canada. They were searching for evidence of the Norse settlement of North America which had been described in ancient Norse sagas. What they found would make headlines around the world, and turn L'Anse aux Meadows into a World Heritage Site. Alex Last spoke to Loretta Decker who grew up in the village and now works as an officer with Parks Canada.

Photo: Replicas of Norse houses from 1000 years ago at L'Anse aux Meadows. (LightRocket/Getty Images)
Jan 04 2019
10 mins
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Rank #12: Chinese restaurant syndrome

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Diners at Chinese restaurants in America in the 1960's began to report unusual symptoms, including headaches, flushing, numbness at the back of the neck.

It was linked to the man-made flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate or MSG – but it was also part of wider attitudes towards Chinese restaurants at the time.

Lucy Burns speaks to restaurateurs Philip Chiang and Ed Schoenfeld about their memories of what became known as 'Chinese restaurant syndrome'.

Photo credit: Plates of Chinese food (Dean Conger/Corbis via Getty Images)
Apr 12 2019
9 mins
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Rank #13: Hitler's League Of German Girls

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The League of German Girls was the girl's wing of the Nazi party's youth movement, Hitler Youth. Open to girls aged ten years upwards, it was a key part of the Nazi plans to shape a new generation of Germans. Caroline Wyatt travels to Berlin to meet Eva Sternheim-Peters, now 93, who joined the League at the age of ten and rose to be one of its leaders.
Photo: Eva Sternheim-Peters at home in Berlin (Credit: Stefan Thissen)
Aug 28 2018
8 mins
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Rank #14: WW1: Revolution in Germany

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After four years of war Germany was on the verge of defeat. Its armies were exhausted and in retreat, its civilian population enduring hardship and hunger. As unrest grew at home, the German government and military struggled to maintain control. The German Kaiser was forced to abdicate. Germany became a republic. Hear first-hand accounts from the BBC archive of how the disastrous end to the First World War provoked revolution in Germany.

Photo: Revolutionaries in a truck with machine guns in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, November 1918 (Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images)
Nov 08 2018
9 mins
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Rank #15: Under the North Pole

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In 1958 the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus travelled under the North Pole. Julian Bedford spoke to retired vice Admiral Kenneth Carr in 2012 about the mission spurred by the Cold War battle for technological supremacy.

Photo: The USS Nautilus arriving in the UK. Copyright: BBC
Aug 06 2019
9 mins
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Rank #16: The Story Behind The Man Who Shot JFK

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What did Lee Harvey Oswald do for two years in the Soviet city of Minsk? And why did the American authorities let him return without any fuss in 1963? A few months later he would be arrested for shooting the US President. Vincent Dowd has been listening to archive accounts of Oswald's time in the USSR and speaking to Anthony Summers who has written about the assassination of President Kennedy.

Photo: Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22,1963, during a press conference after his arrest in Dallas. Credit: AFP/Getty Images.
Nov 21 2018
9 mins
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Rank #17: The fall of Singapore

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In 1942, during the Second World War, the British colony of Singapore fell to Japanese forces. Its capture marked the start of Japan's three-and-a-half year occupation of the island state, during which many ethnic Chinese living in Singapore were rounded up and killed. Louise Hidalgo has been listening to the memories of some of those who lived through that time.

Picture: British soldiers surrender to Japanese forces in Singapore in 1942. (Credit: Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Image)
Mar 11 2019
10 mins
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Rank #18: UFO Sightings: The Rendlesham Forest Incident

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At Christmas 1980 strange objects and lights were seen over a US military base in Suffolk, England, for three consecutive nights. Several military service people reported seeing them, including the deputy commander of the base, Lt Colonel Charles Halt. He explains what he saw to Rebecca Kesby, and why the experience changed his opinion on the existence of UFOs.

(Photo: Computer illustration of UFOs - Unidentified Flying Objects)
Dec 25 2018
15 mins
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Rank #19: The Killing of the Russian Tsar

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The Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, four daughters and young son, were shot in the cellar of a house in Yekaterinburg on 17 July 1918. Olga Romanoff is his great niece. She spoke to Olga Smirnova about his death and eventual reburial in St Petersburg.
(Photo: Nicholas II, Tsar and his family. From left to right - Olga, Maria,Tsar Nicholas II,Tsarina Alexandra, Anastasia, Tsarevitch Alexei and Tatiana. Credit: Press Association
Jul 16 2018
8 mins
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