It's said that journalists write the first draft of history. To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, John Simpson, the BBC's world affairs editor and longest-serving correspondent, goes back to his reports on what he believes is the most important story he ever covered – the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
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Mankind takes on godlike powers: to feed billions of people, reshape the landscape, re-engineer the human body. The greatest power of all was unleashed over Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Since entering the Atomic Age we’ve been living between eternity and oblivion. But at the same time, we’ve become more connected as a species. 100,000 years ago there were a few thousand hunter-gatherers on the African savannah. Today there are 7 billion of us in every corner of the globe. It’s been an amazing journey.
Chapter 1: Most Wanted The return of the documentary, picking up in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, when the Allies uncovered the scale of the Holocaust. Preparations began for a trial at Nuremberg, where 22 of the highest-ranking Nazis, including Hermann Goering, were to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. But not all the highest-ranking Nazis had been captured, and the job of tracking them down fell to Allied soldiers. Chapter 2: The Ratline After the Nuremberg trial, the most senior ranking Nazis had been executed or imprisoned - but many of the worst criminals were still at large. They included Adolf Eichmann, who arranged the transportation of millions of Europe's Jewish people to death camps, and Nazi secret police chief Klaus Barbie, who became known as "the Butcher of Lyon" because of his reputation for extreme cruelty. This documentary follows the hunt for these two war criminals. Chapter 3: The Reckoning The continuing story of the diehards committed to hunt down thousands of Nazi war criminals, some of whom were living in plain sight. One such woman was German Beate Klarsfeld, determined to right the wrongs of her country's dark past and identify Nazis who had gone unpunished - including the notorious Klaus Barbie. The documentary also tells the story of Josef Mengele - who performed gruesome experiemnts on Auschwitz inmates - and the son so appalled by his father's actions he considered turning him in.
Historical documentary featuring colourised archive footage charting the First World War's aftermath in Europe and beyond once celebrations marking the end of hostilities had ceased. Ch1. Vengeance Traumatised by combat, demobilised soldiers return home to the four corners of a war-shattered world. At the Palace of Versailles, the victors draw the borders of new nations, created through strife. Ch2. Return to Hell Nations try to rebuild, but the USA withdraws into isolation, the threat of communism frightens European democracies and populist movements spring up, determined to impose their totalitarian ideology.
2019 • History
Cleopatra was one of the most famous women who ever lived, yet she remains an enigma as most of her world has long since vanished. Roman sources portray her as a seductress but by examining evidence from all over Egypt a different picture emerges. With drama and CGI we bring back to life some of amazing monuments that made her city of Alexandria great and construct a new 3D image of the woman herself.
Which ten events will stay in our minds and hearts as those that marked history Martin Luther king’s i have a dream speech influenced civil rights laws, apartheid ended in south Africa, a bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and man landed on the moon.