Europe

Europa

  • Canadian Gen. Foulkes accepts capitulation of all German troops in the Netherlands (© Flickr/erfgoedinbeeld) )
    Remembering the Second World War in the Netherlands: Historical Sound from the 1950’s- Part 4, The End of the War in the Netherlands, May 1945
    This entry is part of the series Remembering the Second World War in the Netherlands: Historical Sound of the 1950'sFinally on May 5th German generals were summoned to Hotel De Wereld in the town of Wageningen and presented with the conditions of surrender by Canadian General Charles Foulkes, with HRH Prince Bernhard representing the Netherlands. Gen. Charles Foulkes, speaking on the fifth anniversary of the event: A day before Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery had accepted the surrender in …
  • Dutch navy commander Helfrich signs the Japanese capitulation treaty on board the USS Missour on September 2, 1945 (Wikimedia)
    Remembering the Second World War in the Netherlands: Historical Sound from the 1950’s- Part 5, Lt Adm Conrad Helfrich remembers the War in the Pacific
    This entry is part of the series Remembering the Second World War in the Netherlands: Historical Sound of the 1950's  In 1945 the Second World War continued in the Pacific and Southeast Asia for several more months after the defeat of Germany. The Dutch royal navy was among the Allied forces fighting against Japan, since the invasion of the Dutch East Indies in 1942. The Royal Dutch navy was so successful in destroying Japanese ships in the area that its commander, Lt. Admiral Conrad Emil …
  • Glenda Jackson
    Pete Myers hosts the BBC’s “PM”: African Independence/ Glenda Jackson
    Before joining us at Radio Netherlands in 1976, Pete Myers hosted BBC programmes like “Late Night Extra” and “PM” and spoke with some of the greatest artists in musical and theatre entertainment passing through London in the early 1970’s. This recording is from his personal collection and it features a new biography of the late conservative party leader Iain McLeod (1913-1970). As Secretary for the Colonies, McLeod is credited with having accelerated the …
  • Pete Myers interviews Juliette Gréco
    (© Wikipedia) In this edition of the BBC’s programme “PM”, Pete Myers introduces us to the great French chanson singer Juliette Gréco. From singing in the streets as a child, she became the high priestess of the Paris Left Bank at the height of the existentialist Sixties. Before joining us at Radio Netherlands in 1976, Pete Myers hosted BBC programmes like “Late Night Extra” and “PM” and spoke with some of the greatest artists in musical and theatre …
  • Pete Myers: The making of the film “Gandhi”
    David Attenborough’s epic film biography of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) presents a sweeping, masterful image of the life of India’s great pioneer of independence and 20th-century non-violent civil disobedience. In this programme we hear, among others, from director Richard Attenborough and the actor who played Gandhi, Ben Kingsley, who were awarded two of the many Oscars awarded to this movie. Produced and presented by Pete Myers. Broadcast in “Talking To” on April 18, …
  • Salman Rushdie’s Novel “Shame”
    In this programme the renowned and controversial writer Salman Rushdie discusses his third novel “Shame”, published in 1983. The story is set in postcolonial Pakistan and explores the disturbing link between shame and violence and between shame and shamelessness. A pioneering novel about artificial and true identity. Produced and presented by Pete Myers Broadcast in “Mainstream Asia” 14 October 1983 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share …
  • The spirit of peace
    At the height of the international debate on the deployment of a new generation of nuclear missles in both East and West, Amsterdam hosted a five-day conference on what an individual can contribute to world peace. Subtitled: culture, religition and science at a turning point, the conference presented 30 speakers who gave lectures, held meditation sessions and workshops. The speakers included Buddhists monks, an Aborigene, an American Indian, physicists, psychiatristrists, etc. But as Barry …
  • Images – Fassbinder, Fragonard, and Vera Beths
    In this edition of our weekly arts magazine hosted by Nevil Gray, an interview with a Dutch radio producer who defied public opinion by broadcasting parts of a highly controversial play, boycotted for its antisemitism, by German enfant terrible Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The programme also features a discussion about the Louvre’s current exhibition of the 18th-century painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard and a conversation with one of Holland’s leading post-war solo violinists Vera Beths. …
  • Revolution in the family: William and Mary Come to the Throne of England
    This broadcast was timed to coincide with the 300th anniversary of the socalled Glorious Revolution, in which prince William of Orange, stadholder of the Dutch Republic, helped fellow Protestants in England to depose their king, James II. William and his wife Mary Stuart, daughter of the king, were then invited to accept the crown. It was a moment of great importance in the past 300 years of British and Dutch relations. In this programme, Pete Myers discusses these events with Henri and Barbara …
  • Rembrandt Express: featuring Prince Charles
    Pete Myers was among a select group of Dutch journalists invited to Kensington Palace to interview Britain’s Crown Prince Charles in 1988 to mark the 300th anniversary of the Glorious Revolution. In 1688, the Dutch Prince of Orange and his wife, the sister of the deposed British King James, came to the throne of England. This marked the start of the Age of William and Mary. Prince Charles speaks about the event and present-day Dutch-British relations. Also featured in this edition of our …
  • Radio Praha
    Media Network: Czechoslovakia – the truth shall prevail
    In 1988, 20 years after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Jonathan Marks uses recordings from Radio Prague to tell the story of how the liberator (the Russians in 1945) became the aggressor.  Producer: Jonathan Marks Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • In So Many Words, Language Cultures of the European Community: Part 1
    This entry is part of the series European Language CulturesWhen this series was made in the early 1990’s, the European Community (now called the European Union) had 12 members, as opposed to 28 in 2020. There were 9 “official” languages then. Today the EU has 24. But the fundamental principle of respect for language diversity has not changed. The more than 500 million people of the European Union speak over 40 languages, including several world languages spoken on other …
  • In So Many Words, Language Cultures of the European Community: Part 2, French
    This entry is part of the series European Language CulturesFrench is an official language in three European Union countries—in France, Belgium and Luxemburg, where it is spoken by over 75 million people. But outside of Europe, it is an official language in dozens of countries, and hundreds of millions of people speak, read and write French fluently on a daily basis. Few people revere their language more than the French, and it is a matter of state policy to see to it that this wonderful …
  • In So Many Words, Language Cultures of the European Community: Part 11, German
    This entry is part of the series European Language CulturesGerman has more native speakers in Europe than any other language in the EU: nearly one hundred million, most of whom live in the Federal Republic and Austria. Well into the 20th century, German played a predominant role in science and philosophy. A number of the key works of modern thought – the theories of Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, for example – were written first in the German language. In the middle …
  • In So Many Words, Language Cultures of the European Community: Part 5, English
    This entry is part of the series European Language CulturesFor over two centuries now, English has continued to advance at a phenomenal pace as the dominant language in numerous areas affecting the lives of people around the world: in literature and publishing, science and business affairs, telecommunications and popular entertainment, in academia, the arts and sports. English has well over 400 million native speakers around the world, but more than a billion and a half people communicate in …
  • In So Many Words, Language Cultures of the European Community: Part 10, Italian
    This entry is part of the series European Language CulturesItalian has about 70 million speakers in Italy. The language has the capacity to lift even people who cannot understand a word of the language to soaring heights, in the great arias of Italian opera. What else would you expect from a language that was first written by a saint? “The Canticle of Brother Sun” by Francis of Assisi is considered to be the first unattested example of poetry written in Italian. But Italian has an …
  • In So Many Words, Language Cultures of the European Community: Part 9, Danish
    This entry is part of the series European Language CulturesThe Romans never made it up as far north as Scandinavia and Christianity arrived late, so the languages in Europe’s far north did not undergo the influence of Latin that the southern regions did. Instead they retained for centuries their original Norse core. Danish is one of the newest of Europe’s languages, having broken away from Swedish only about five hundred years ago. Since then the language has produced world-famous …
  • In So Many Words, Language Cultures of the European Community: Part 6, Minority Languages
    This entry is part of the series European Language CulturesDid you know that Picasso did not grow up speaking Spanish, that Richard Burton did not grow up speaking English, and that Napoleon did not grow up speaking French? Nor did Dutch diva Mata Hari grow up speaking Dutch? Picasso’s first language was Catalan, Richard Burton grew up in a Welsh-speaking home, Napoleon’s mother tongue was Corsican, and Mata Hari’s was Frisian—just four of Europe’s many so-called …
  • In So Many Words, Language Cultures of the European Community: Part 8, Spanish
    This entry is part of the series European Language CulturesWhen Columbus “discovered” America on behalf of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492, he paved the way for Spanish to become the dominant language of Latin America. But Spanish is often called “Castilian” (in reference to the central region Castile), to distinguish it from other languages spoken in Spain, like Catalan and Basque. The speakers in this programme tell us what they think truly characterises …
  • In So Many Words, Language Cultures of the European Community: Part 7, Portuguese
    This entry is part of the series European Language CulturesPortuguese is one of Europe’s world languages. With more than 200 million native speakers in Brazil alone, as compared to just over 10 million in Europe itself, Portuguese shares the fate of English and Spanish. This originally European language is now both challenged and constantly enriched by its many speakers outside of Europe. Portuguese is a language of great poets like Luis de Camões and Fernando Pessoa, and it is the …
  • Gabcikovo Dam
    Healing the wounds – the environmental disaster in Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia: it’s been described at the most polluted country in the world, the world’s garbage can. The epicentre of Czechoslovakia’s ecological disaster lies in northern Bohemia, 100 or so kilometres north of the capital Prague, in what’s known as the Black Triangle, a region that extends into south-eastern Germany and southern Poland. But a country doesn’t get branded as the filthiest on the face of the earth because of a single region. During the decades of communist rule, industrial …
  • Notes from the New World: Music from the Americas, Part 1 of 6 – Europe and the Americas
    Marking the 500th anniversary of the arrival in America of Christopher Columbus in 1492, Pete Myers takes us on a fascinating tour of the classical music that was created and inspired by the Americas. In this first part, we listen to European composers with links to the New World:  the Czech composer Anton Dvorak, who wrote one of the most magnificent musical homages to America, Giacomo Puccini’s “The Girl from the West”, and Arthur Benjamin’s “Jamaica …
  • Radio Moscow
    Media Network – the coup in the Soviet Union
    Jonathan Marks pieces together how news of the “coup” was disseminated, how it was picked up in the west and what it says about the Soviet media, both state and private. The programme include official Radio Moscow announcement that President Gorbachev was “too ill” to carry on. Former Radio Moscow journalist Vasily Stelnikov is interviewed extensively about the way the Soviet media operated in “crisis situations”.  Presenter: Jonathan Marks Share …
  • Africanisation of European politics
    Veronica Wilson examines the emergence of people of African origin on the European political scene. In 1987, Paul Boateng (from Ghana) became the first black British MP. In France, the minister of social affairs and integration is from Togo, the first black politician in the cabinet. There are also black MPs. How do they see this Africanisation of European politics and what do black politicians have to contribute to white political culture? Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new …
  • In search of a better life – African immigrants in Europe
    Eric Beauchemin looks at the plight of the thousands of Africans who try to flee their continent via Morocco and then in dodgy boats cross to Spain, their gateway into Europe. Each year, many drown during the crossing. Many others are arrested off the Spanish coast. What is to become of them?  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Woman in a refugee camp in Tuzla, Bosnia
    War rape in the former Yugoslavia
    In the former Yugoslavia, crimes are being committed that defy the imagination. What makes the crimes so heinous is that civilians – mostly women and innocent children – are being singled out. In fact, there’s mounting evidence that the aggressors – mostly Serb militiamen, though Croats and Muslims aren’t free of blame – have devised a strategy to terrorize the civilian population. The war strategy includes the raping of women and girls as young as 10 years old. Silver medal, New York Radio …
  • Serb nationalism
    In tatters and rags – the destructive force of nationalism in the Balkans
    “Slovenians can go to hell and Macedonians as well, but if Bosnia or Croatia try to secede from Yugoslavia, we the Serbs will make of their republics the most ridiculous-looking countries in the world. They will be all in tatters and rags.” That statement was made by the former Yugoslav president Dobrosav Cocic in 1985. It was part of a memorandum published by the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which President Slobodan Milosevic, would use as his political blueprint when he …
  • Polluting factory in Poland
    The needle and the mountains – the ecological catastrophe in southern Poland
    Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Europe began to discover the extent of environmental pollution in the region. One of the most polluted areas was the Black Triangle, which stretches from southern Poland to northern Czechoslovakia and on to eastern Germany. It’s a region where industrialisation has gone amok. Trees, lakes, cities and people are dying, smothered in a noxious potion of unbreathable air, undrinkable water and chemical waste. Original broadcast: 1993 Transcript …
  • Refugee camp in Podgorica, Montenegro
    The forgotten refugees of Montenegro
    As a result of the war in the Balkans, nearly 60,000 people have fled the fighting in Bosnia and Croatia and taken refuge in Montenegro. The refugees now form nearly 10% of republic’s total population, an enormous burden for any country. The influx of refugees has added to Montenegro’s woes. The republic’s economy has been virtually paralysed by the strict economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations against rump Yugoslavia two years ago. But Montenegro is still accepting refugees, …
  • Belgrade market woman
    The demise of Serbia
    In 1992, the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on rump Yugoslavia for its role in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The strict UN embargo has had devastating effects on the economies of the two remaining republics in the Yugoslav Federation: Serbia and Montenegro. All trade with foreign countries has stopped. Today, over 90% of the population lives below the poverty line. This is the story of three of these middle-class families. Original broadcast: April 30, 1994 Transcript Radio …
  • Yours Anne, Love Zlata: Diaries of two young girls
    This is the story of two girls who kept diaries.  One is Anne Frank, who lived in hiding in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation.  The other is Zlata Filipovic, who was about ten years old when she first was deeply moved by Anne Frank’s world-famous diary.  She read the diary in her native Serbo-Croat, one of over fifty languages in which the diary has been published. Little did Zlata know at the time that she too would one day also write a war diary, for in 1991 her city, …
  • JAT Airways
    Measuring the impact of U.N. sanctions against Serbia
    In May 1992, the United Nations Security Council imposed strict economic sanctions against the two republics remaining in the Yugoslav Federation: Serbia and Montenegro. The international community imposed the sanctions after almost a year of fruitless efforts to end the fighting in the former Yugoslavia. At the time, it was widely believed that an almost total boycott would quickly end the war and perhaps also lead to the overthrow of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. The sanctions failed …
  • Serbian beggar
    Yugoslavia on the brink
    Yugoslavia used to be one of the richest countries in eastern and central Europe. But by 1994, the country had fallen apart, and in the two remaining republics – Serbia and Montenegro – the average monthly salary had dropped to less than 20 dollars a month. A few years ago, it was 100 times more. Rump Yugoslavia was facing some of the strictest economic sanctions ever imposed, and total economic collapse in Belgrade and the rest of the country just around the corner. Everyone knew …
  • Children of war in Yugoslavia
    Eric Beauchemin visits Croatia to investigate how the war in the former Yugoslavia is affecting the most vulnerable of all victims: children. In Croatia alone, more than 330,000 children had to flee their homes. The country is providing refuge to many other displaced persons, mainly from Bosnia. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Peter the Great: Part 1 of 3 (The Carpenter Czar)
    There are very good reasons for calling “the most excellent and great sovereign prince Pyotr Aleskeyevich, leader of all the Russias” czar Peter the Great. It is impossible to exaggerate the lasting impact of his transformation of 18th-century Russia from a medieval society locked into ancient traditions into a country that came to play a leading role in world science, art and ideas. And, as we hear in this three-part documentary produced to mark the 300th anniversary of …
  • Peter the Great: Part 2 of 3 (The Great Embassy)
    There are very good reasons for calling “the most excellent and great sovereign prince Pyotr Aleskeyevich, leader of all the Russias” czar Peter the Great. It is impossible to exaggerate the lasting impact of his transformation of 18th-century Russia from a medieval society locked into ancient traditions into a country that came to play a leading role in world science, art and ideas. And, as we hear in this three-part documentary produced to mark the 300th anniversary of …
  • Dayton Agreement
    The right of return in the former Yugoslavia
    Five years ago, fighting began in the heart of Europe: the Balkans. Over a quarter of a million people were killed during the war in the former Yugoslavia and nearly 2.5 million people had to abandon their homes. Many of these refugees and displaced people now want to exercise one of the key provisions of the Dayton Agreement: the right to return home. Original broadcast: June 19, 1996 Transcript Five years ago, fighting began in the heart of Europe: the Balkans. Over a quarter of a million …
  • Near Sniper's Alley, Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina
    Memories of the war in Bosnia
    Much has been written about the atrocities committed over the past five years in the heart of Europe: the concentration camps, the war rapes and the ethnic cleansing. Much has also been said about the politics, war tactics and the immense refugee problems. But to understand the death of this nation, we must listen to the ordinary people, the survivors of the most savage war in Europe in over half a century.  Original broadcast: September 16, 1996 Transcript Siren Song, hosted by Dheera Sujan …
  • Stari Most (Old Bridge) in Mostar in Bosnia Herzogovina was destroyed during the war
    Slaying the demons – war trauma in the Balkans
    In 1991, old scars were ripped back open when fighting broke out again in the former Yugoslavia. Five years of ethnic cleansing, war rapes, concentration camps, a quarter of a million dead and 2.5 million refugees and displaced people have left even deeper wounds in the Balkan psyche. About 700.000 people in Bosnia and Croatia were severely traumatized by the war, according to a report by the European Community Humanitarian Office. Another 700.000 are in need of therapy. Some organizations put …
  • International Federation of the Red Cross
    The elderly survivors of the Balkan wars
    The war in the former Yugoslavia uprooted millions of people and forever changed their lives. The three and a half-year war particularly affected the most vulnerable in society: children and the elderly. Numerous non-governmental organisations as well as United Nations agencies have set up programmes to provide assistance to the child victims of the war. But interest in the elderly survivors has been minimal. Original broadcast: 1996 Transcript Wide Angle, a broader view of issues behind the …
  • Crossing the peaceline
    Maggie Ayre goes to Belfast, Northern Ireland to examine the work of the Dutch-based “Help Northern Ireland Foundation”, an organisation dedicated to promoting friendship and understanding between young Catholics and Protestants in this troubled part of the world. The Foundation takes Protestant and Catholic youth and gives them three weeks of holiday…together…in the Netherlands. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens …
  • Living on the land: Crofting in Scotland, Part 3
    The last of three progammes produced in association with Radio Netherlands, BBC Scotland and RTE Ireland. Radio Scotland’s Kenneth McDonald explores the history of crofting and asks what future lies ahead for this particularly Sottish rural way of life. He talks with those who have run crofts for most of their lives and meets young people who have given up glamourous city lives to go back to the land. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook …
  • Living on the land: The new pioneers in Ireland, Part 2
    The second of three programmes produced in association with Radio Netherlands, BBC Scotland and RTE Ireland. RTE Ireland’s Mehall Holmes visits Lawrence and Ann Howard of Claggan Island in rural Ireland. He talks to the family about the choices they made to take over the family farm and live and work in one of the country’s most beautiful but isolated regions. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Living by the water: Beyond the call of duty, Part 2
    In the second of three co-productions between Radio Netherlands, BBC Radio Scotland and RTE Ireland, we travel to the coast of Wexford in Ireland to join the crew of the Kilmore Quay lifeboat service, often saving lives but sometimes having to be the bearers of bad news to the people of this small community of friends lost at sea. Reporter Meehall Holmes goes aboard the lifeboat to talk to the men and women who go beyond the all of duty. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new …
  • Living by the water: Anstruther, Part 3
    In the third of three co-productions between Radio Netherlands, BBC Radio Scotland and RTE Ireland, we travel to Anstruther near St. Andrews, Scotland, where reporter John Knox meets a community whose lives are bound up with the sea and with their lifeboat volunteers. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Violent women
    “Sugar and spice” fail to describe the nature of women in the 90’s. Violence against women in Western Europe is becoming more and more common. If violence in men is hormonal, what then explains the statistical rise of assaults committed by women? Mindy Ran travels to Britain, Germany and the Netherlands to examine the rise of “violent women”. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Highlands & Lowlands, Part 4: The Scottish/English Border
    England and Scotland have been been united under the same kings and queens since the years 1603 and governed by the same British parliament since 1707, but the traveller crossing the Anglo-Scottish border today is made aware immediately of differences in architecture, language, sporting affiliations, law, education and religion. For rather than drawing people together, the border serves to heighten the sense of national identity of both peoples, especially those living north of the line, the …
  • Highlands & Lowlands, Part 3: The Dutch/German border
    The people of the Dutch province of Limburg are true Europeans. They live in a narrow strip of land sandwiched between Belgium and Germany, and this mix of the three cultures is clearly reflected in their dialects and attitudes. In other parts of Europe, there are fears that further integration will mean the loss of culture and identity. But the people of this border region are perhaps a model for the rest of the Union of how to be true citizens of the new Europe – people for whom border …
  • Highlands & Lowlands, Part 2: Orkney
    The Scottish island of Orkney is at the crossroads of the North Sea and the Atlantic. It is a place of startling natural beauty as John Fergusson of BBC Scotland points out during this intimate profile of one of the great jewels of the United Kingdom.  “Highlands & Lowlands”: a comparative, six-part co-production from Radio Netherlands and BBC Scotland, looking a the lifestyles, histories, frontiers and languages of contemporary Holland and Scotland.  Share this:Click …
  • To wear the burden with dignity – Greenland, Part 2
    Over the past 30 years, the lifestyle of the Inuit in Greenland has changed enormously. Company jobs have replaced seal and whale hunting as a means of making a living. Both television and the internet have brought news and pictures from around the world into Greenlandic homes. These changes have had both good and bad consequences. While the living standards have gone up, many people are unable to keep up with the pace of change. As a result, depression is rampant and suicide rates are among …
  • The land of the people – Greenland, Part 1
    Little is heard about Greenland in the rest of the world, but in fact, the Greenlandic home-rule government is seen as a model for indigenous groups around the globe. Over the past 30 years, the Inuit in Greenland have gradually taken over power from the Danes, who colonised the island in the 1700’s. In “The Land of the People”, Michele Ernsting travels to Greenland to talk with people there about the creation and running of their home-rule government. Share this:Click to …
  • Close neighbours, distant friends, Part 2: The way forward
    Despite being steadfast member states of the European Union, the relationship between the people of the Netherlands and its large and influential, eastern neighbour Germany, is strained. It is with this in mind that Radio Netherlands and Deutsche Welle have prepared two documentaries examining the long and ever-changing relationship between these two closely-related and yet philosophically different lands. This week, Part 2: “The Way Forward: Friendship with Germany”. Radio …
  • Close neighbours, distant friends, Part 1: A common history
    Despite being steadfast member states of the European Union, the relationship between the people of the Netherlands and its large and influential, eastern neighbour Germany, is strained. It is with this in mind that Radio Netherlands and Deutsche Welle have prepared two documentaries examining the long and ever-changing relationship between these two closely-related and yet philosophically different lands. This week, Part 1: “Close Neighbours, Distant Friends, A common history”. …
  • Highlands & Lowlands, Part 6: Language – Gaelic
    Gaelic was once the majority tongue of the Scots, but it is now spoken by only two percent of the population, its stronghold being the Inner and Outer Hebrides off Scotland’s Northwest coast. Today Gaelic is fighting for its survival against the onslaught of the English language and its culture.  Donald Morrison looks at the history and present circumstances of Scotland’s oldest living landscape-Gaelic and examines recent developments to try and stem the decline of the …
  • Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
    From The Ugly Ducking to The Emperor’s New Clothes, the timeless tales by Hans Christian Andersen are told, read and filmed worldwide. But perhaps Denmark’s most famous author is misunderstood, because he is also the author of 42 quite grown-up plays, travelogues, 12 volumes of diaries, poetry, 14 novels and one autobiography. Produced and presented by Marijke van der Meer on the occasion of Copenhagen’s selection as European Cultural Capital of 1996. Broadcast in Euroquest 20 …
  • Italy: La Famiglia
    Now, you may well expect to hear about large close-knit extended families who all live in each other’s pockets under the same roof with many, many children. But the reality is very different. Italy today has the lowest birth rate in the world and children are very scarce. This leaves Italian pensioners with few grandchildren to spoil. And with more retired people per capital than any other country in Europe, that’s a lot of lonely old people.  Share this:Click to share on …
  • Sagrada Familia
    Catalonia – the continuing struggle
    Many Spaniards grudgingly admit that Catalonia should have greater autonomy and that a redistribution of tax revenues will bring government closer to the people. But the poorer regions in Spain are particularly concerned about the effects of the redistribution of tax revenues. Many wonder if the calls by Catalonia and the other autonomous regions for an ever greater say over their own affairs won’t ultimately lead to the break-up of the Spanish state. Original broadcast: April 23, 1997 …
  • Graffiti about youth unemployment in Spain
    Tackling youth unemployment in southern Spain
    Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union: 22%. In the southern province of Andalucía, the figure is even higher – one in three is out of work. Youth unemployment is even more alarming: 50% of young people in the region are unemployed. So how are people coping and what are they doing about the problem? Radio y Televisión de Andalucía (RTVA) Silver medal 1998 Original broadcast: June 2, 1997 Transcript Radio Netherlands, the Dutch International Service presents: A Good …
  • The spiral of violence in the Basque country
    For nearly four decades, the Basque separatist movement ETA has been fighting for an independent Basque country in northern Spain and the southwestern part of France. ETA was established in response to the repression of the Franco dictatorship. Democracy was restored in Spain in the mid-1970’s, yet ETA has continued its armed struggle. It carried out is first terrorist attack in 1968 and has since murdered almost 1000 people.  Eric Beauchemin looks at the origins of Basque …
  • Helsinki Citizens' Assembly
    Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – young people tackling frozen conflicts in the Transcaucasis region
    The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the beginning of a new era for the European continent. But it has proven more difficult than expected to overcome the divisions which emerged during the Cold War. One of the groups that has been working for the democratic integration of Europe is the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly. In 1997, it decided to hold a summer course in the Transcaucasis, a troubled region that includes the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Original …
  • Government House, Sukhumi, Abkhazia
    Abkhazia – the disputed land of the soul
    Five years ago, on August 14, 1992, war broke out on the shores of the Black Sea, in Abkhazia, a lush and picturesque province of the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Georgian troops marched into the province to quash Abkhazia’s demands for autonomy within the newly independent Georgia. By the time the Abkhazians expelled the Georgians a year later, 10-thousand people had been killed and more than a quarter of a million had fled. Today, Abkhazians proudly proclaim their independence, but not …
  • Border between Georgia and the Republic of Abkhazia
    Is a solution in sight to the long and bitter Abkhaz conflict?
    Last week, the president of Abkhazia held an unprecedented meeting with his Georgian counterpart, Eduard Shevardnadze, in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Five years ago, Georgia invaded Abkhazia to crush its demands for an independent state. 10-thousand people were killed and a quarter of a million were forced to flee the territory on the Black Sea coast. The Abkhaz proclaimed their independence, but Georgia and the rest of the world continue to demand that the territory be reintegrated into …
  • Jackeens and Corkonians
    Continuing our look at rivalry between cities, we travel this time to the Irish capital Dublin and to its jealous sibling, Cork, and find out if there’s a real animosity between the citizens of the capital and the province.  “Jackeens and Corkonians” is presented for Radio Netherlands by Michael Holmes of RTE, the national broadcaster of Irelander.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • East-West relations
    East-West relations is part three of our series of programmes on city rivalries. Edinburgh as the capital of Scotland enjoys the reputation for being the “Athens of the North”, an architecturally beautifully city that is the centre of Scottish power. Glasgow, on the other hand, enjoy an industrial boom in the 19th century which made it the second city of the British Empire, and it’s this hard, industrial atmosphere that has remained. Kenneth MacDonald of BB Scotland explores …
  • Christiania
    In the heart of the elegant Danish capital, Copenhagen, there is a neighbourhood which is a government nightmare: The Republic of Christiania. It was created back in 1966 when hundreds of squatters broke into an unused military barrack. Over the past 25 years, the government has tried several times to force them out, but the community has only flourished and provided fertile ground for Denmark’s most innovative theatre groups, musicians and artists. A quarter of a century later, the more …
  • Mirror Images: Joan Sutherland
    In this gem from our archives, arts producer Nevil Gray speaks with fellow Australian Dame Joan Sutherland (1926-2010), one of the great opera sopranos of the 20th century. In 1982 Nevil caught up with Dame Sutherland in Amsterdam, where she was performing as Lucia in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor”, the role that had shot her to international fame in 1959. Produced and presented by Nevil Gray in 1982 Rebroadcast to mark Radio Netherlands’ 50th anniversary in 1997 …
  • Andorran diary
    On the border between France and Spain and surrounded by the majestic Pyrenees mountains lies the thousand-year-old Principality of Andorra. With a population of just 65,000 and only 468 square kilometres small, the country of Andorra remains something of an unknown quantity, even for most Europeans. It was admitted to the United Nations in 1993 as a sovereign state, yet it still answers to the co-princes of the French presidency and the Spanish Bishop of Urgel, just as it has for the past 713 …
  • Minorities in Spain
    Throughout Europe, nationalism is again on the rise. In France and Austria, rabidly nationalistic parties are gaining strength, and in the former East Bloc, right-wing nationalist forces are also on the rise after having been suppressed for decades by Communist rule. But Catalonia in northeastern Spain is showing that nationalism isn’t necessarily a bad word. Catalan nationalists are fighting to gain more power over affairs which directly affect Catalans, thereby bringing government …
  • Knocking on our door
    Every year, thousands of illegal immigrants enter Spain and the other countries of the European Union to escape poverty and war. Because of their long coastlines, Spain and other southern European countries are becoming popular destinations for these would-be immigrants. But once in Spain, many of the foreigners wind up on the margins of society. Even the lucky ones have to wait years to legalise their situation.  Eric Beauchemin reports on how these immigrant groups are calling on Spain …
  • Azomures chemical factory in Targu Mures
    Environmental problems in Eastern Europe
    It was only after the revolutions in 1989 that the full extent of the environmental catastrophe in Central and Eastern Europe began to emerge. Half a century of totalitarian rule had left many parts of the region highly polluted, and many, many people were becoming sick because of the contamination of the air, water and soil. Pollution levels dropped dramatically after the revolutions: not because of the environmental movement, but because most industries slashed their output or simply came to …
  • At a crossroad – the Catholic Church in Spain
    As the Catholic Church in Spain prepares to celebrate the arrival of the third millennium, it finds itself at a crossroad. It realises that major changes are inevitable if it is to continue to be a significant force in Spanish society in the 21st century. But it’s still searching for a message that will keep the flock together and attract the young. Original broadcast: 1997 Transcript Radio Netherlands, the Dutch International Service, presents “At a crossroad – the Catholic Church in Spain”. …
  • Palace of the People in Bucharest
    The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest
    Romania’s dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu used a major earthquake in the country in 1977 as a pretext to demolish the old buildings in the capital Bucharest and build a civic centre. The main element of this project was the People’s House, which became known as the Palace of the Parliament after the 1989 revolution. It is the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. Its construction came at an enormous cost, both financial and human.  Original …
  • An uneasy calm in Kosovo
    Until 1989, Kosovo enjoyed the status of an autonomous province within the Yugoslav Federation, with its own legal and administrative institutions and extensive local powers. But this autonomy was revoked in 1989 after Serbian President Slobodan Milosovic whipped up the flames of nationalism in Serbia. Since then, an uneasy peace has reigned in Kosovo. The Serb authorities have been using a strong military and police presence, as well as heavy-handed tactics to keep the Albanian majority under …
  • ACCEPT - Romania
    The struggle for gay rights in Romania
    Romania is one of the very last countries in Europe which still discriminates against homosexuals. In late 1997, Radio Netherlands looked at the fate of gays and lesbians in Romania, and the efforts of the Netherlands and other E.U. countries to eliminate the legalised discrimination of a segment of the Romanian population. Original broadcast: December 10, 1997 Transcript Wide Angle, the issues behind the news. You should, of course, not discriminate against a part of your population in your …
  • Roma child living in a dump in Cluj, Romania
    Severed roots – the abandoned children of Romania
    Children were particularly hard hit by the collapse of communism in 1989. The number of children being placed in institutions or foster families in eastern and central Europe rose by 30% within the next decade. Child labour was growing as families struggled to survive. And throughout the region, more and more children were being abandoned to their fate and are winding up on the streets. The situation in Romania was particularly dire. Photos: Eric Beauchemin Original broadcast: February 4, 1998 …
  • You are what you eat, Part 2: Potatoes in Ireland
    The second of a three-part co-production looking at aspects of national cuisine and the customs associated with serving and receiving food in Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands. The potato and how it changed the course of Irish history, notably through the famous famine years. Presented by Joe Murray of RTE Irish Public Radio. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • You are what you eat, Part 3: Oats in Scotland
    The final part of a three-part co-production looking at aspects of national cuisine and the customs associated with serving and receiving food in Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands. Part Three: The significance of a humble cereal crop in Scotland: oats. Despite their rather bland taste, their history and meaning to the Scots is rich. Presented by Doreen Wood. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Italy: Hope in Vesuvius
    Louise Williams covers the controversy surrounding Italy’s wonderful cultural heritage – at least what’s left of it, because sadly, Italy’s art treasures have been badly neglected. Louise talks to the Italian art police, visits a 12th century basilica in Rome and speaks to Italian art experts about what’s been lost to neglect, pollution and theft. Produced and presented by Louise Williams Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on …
  • Berlin: the Once and Future Capital
    Shortly after Germany was reunited in 1990, it was decided to reinstate Berlin as the capital of the country once again. This ravaged and once divided city is now Europe’s biggest construction site as it prepares for the arrival of the German government one year from now. But aside from all the new building—which includes everything from new ministries and Europe’s largest train station to corporate headquarters and a museum for Marlene Dietrich. There are huge social and economic …
  • Robert van Voren
    Schizophrenic lives in the former East Bloc
    Since the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, there’s been a great deal of reporting on the political turmoil, the economic chaos, and the region’s severe environmental problems. But much less has been said about the psychological damage caused by half a century of totalitarian rule. The consequences of 50 years of repression are only now beginning to emerge: rising suicide rates, alcoholism, domestic violence, mental illness. The Geneva Initiative …
  • Portugal: The new empire
    Portugal has been redefining its international profile in recent years: as a member within the European community…as the host country to the new Community of Portuguese-Speaking countries, the CPLP…and, as home to people from all corners of the former empire. From Brazil, five African states, Goa and East Timor, people have come to join the Portuguese on their native soil. Also present and struggling to make ends meet, Portugal’s oldest minority, the gypsies.  The …
  • “He Who Does Not Howl with the Wolf”: Composer Richard Wagner’s great-grandson speaks out
    In 1997 a book appeared in German that provided more troubling insights into the dark reputation of the Nazi cult around the composer Richard Wagner. But this time the criticism came from the composer’s own great-grandson, Gottfried Wagner. His autobiographical book, “He who does not Howl with the Wolf”, claims that his family’s support for Hitler went far beyond mere opportunism. At the time, Gottfried’s father Wolfgang was director of the annual Wagner Opera …
  • Kosovo: Between war and peace
    In recent months, tensions have been mounting rapidly in Kosovo, a region in Serbia inhabited mainly by ethnic Albanians. Kosovo has been described as the next powder keg in the Balkans: the situation has been polarised there for much longer than in Croatia and Bosnia, the animosity runs much deeper and the positions of the Serb minority and the Albanian majority are even more intransigent. If war breaks out, it’s likely that it will be even more destructive and bloodier than in Bosnia. …
  • Belgium: The labyrinth
    When you think of Belgium, you think wonderful cuisine, chocolates and possibly Agatha Christie’s dandy detective, Hercule Poirot. With all of these typically Gallic characteristics, you could be forgiven for not knowing that the majority of the country doesn’t speak French but Dutch. In the past, Francophone culture dominated all economic and cultural aspects of the land, even in Dutch-speaking Flanders.  But the latter half of the 20th century has brought changes that have …
  • A Promise of Peace: the Peace of Westphalia of 1648
    In 1648 the leading powers of war-torn Europe finally agreed on the terms of a treaty that would end 30 years of devastating military conflict between Catholic and Protestant forces. The Peace of Westphalia and the parallel Treaty of Münster marked not only the end of the Thirty Years’ War, but also the end of the Eighty Years’ War in which the Dutch fought for independence from the Catholic Habsburg rulers. This peace agreement shaped Europe for generations to come and defined the …
  • The road to justice
    The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was set up in 1993 in The Hague to bring to trial those responsible for atrocities committed during the conflict in the Balkans. But how much do we know about what goes on behind the scenes of the Tribunal?  There are no precedents to refer to, so the Tribunal is also in the process of defining itself and its future role in the world.  Produced and presented by Lorenza Bacino.   Share this:Click to share on …
  • Siren Song: Redmond O’Hanlon
    Dheera Sujan meets Oxford don but most of all travel writer and jungle explorer Redmond O’Hanlon and finds out why he undertakes these difficult, uncomfortable and dangerous journeys. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • The outsiders
    For over seven centuries, the Roma, the gypsies of Eastern and Central Europe, have been thought of as mysterious, mischievous, romantic and somehow menacing. They were said to be skilled violinists, fortune tellers, beggars and thieves. But this romantic image, if ever it were true, bears little resemblance to the harsh and grim reality of many Roma in present-day Eastern Europe.  Eric Beauchemin reports on the plight of the Roma in Bulgaria.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter …
  • The hunters and the hunted
    The hunting of whales is a very sensitive environmental issue. Most European countries have harshly condemned the practice, yet it was not so long ago that their own fishing fleets were aggressively driving whale species to the point of extinction. Now a few countries wish to continue the hunt, which they say is crucial to the survival of their coastal people, as well as being sustainable. Michele Ernsting looks at the history of whaling and the continuing controversy surrounding it. Share …
  • The real Mother Goose
    Do you remember the songs you heard as a child? The nursery rhymes you learned from your mother? If you’d thought about them, you may have noticed that some of them could be quite nasty at the end – the farmer’s wife cutting off the tails of the three blind mice, the blackbirds pecking off the maid’s nose in “Sing a Song a Sixpence”. But did you know that some of these seemingly harmless songs carry with them quite sinister pasts? And that “London …
  • Aural Tapestry: Erich Maria Remarque
    In this edition of our arts programme Aural Tapestry, we mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the world’s most widely published writers, Erich Maria Remarque. He is especially remembered for “All Quiet on the Western Front”, his heart-rending and realistic depiction of the life of a soldier in the First World War. Remarque wrote many highly praised novels, such as “Flotsam” (1939) and “Arch of Triumph” (1945), and many of his books were …
  • Whiskey: The water of life
    To many people around the world, few things capture better the spirit of Scotland than whiskey. But its place in Scottish culture can easily pale in comparison to its economic importance. Where would this nation of six million people in the far northwest corner of Europe be without its malt whiskey? Produced and presented by Lyndsay Cannon. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Heads or tails
    On January 1, 1999, the countries of the European Union entered into a monetary union. Euro bills and coins replaced francs, guilders and Deutsch marks, among others. 11 countries lost a key symbol of sovereignty in the modern world. No one knows what the effects of the Union will be. But rather than peering into the future for answers, perhaps we should look to our past. 2000 years ago, the Romans formed the largest monetary union the world has ever known. In “Heads or Tales”, …
  • In Father’s Footsteps: Bulk Transport on Europe’s Inland Waterways
    A programme about the disappearing way of life of the inland skippers. Bulk transport on inside vessels, or river barges, accounted for half of Europe’s marine freight traffic when this programme was made. Half of the transport was carried out by Dutch vessels. Although river transport is increasing in importance, there is intense competition from overland truck transport . Produced and presented by Liesbeth de Bakker Euroquest 19 March 1999 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in …
  • The Black Death: the Bubonic Plague and its vast consequences
    The Black Death, or Great Plague, was one of the most devastating waves of disease and death in human history. Modern historians of the Middle Ages estimate that up to 200 million people succumbed to the plague in Asia and Europe in the mid-14th century. Originating in Central Asia along the Silk Road and peaking in Europe around 1350, the Black Death was carried by a rat flea and may have wiped out as much as 70 to 80% of the population in some parts of the Mediterranean. The psychological, …
  • Gypsies, tinkers & travellers
    Produced as part of an international co-production with BBC Scotland, this is a gentle look at the everyday live of Scottish travellers. Reporter Billy Kay talks with a whole host of people, including a lady who talks openly about discovering for the first time that she has gypsy connections.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Imigrazione
      The last decade has seen Italy change from a land of emigration to a destination for immigrants. Normally a homogeneous society, it’s put the country into shock. Add an increase in crime, drug use and prejudice, and you’ve got a cocktail for an explosive mix. Lorenza Bacino explores Italy at a cultural crossroads. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Callanish Stones, on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland
    Aural Tapestry – The Celtic identity
    Martha Hawley visits the Outer Hebrides in search of Celtic culture and identity. She finds out about who the Celts were and where they moved to. Apart from Scotland, Ireland and elsewhere in Britain, they ended up mostly in southern Europe. Presenter: Martha Hawley Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Giovanni Boccaccio and “The Decameron”
    In 1348, the infamous Black Death ravaged the city of Florence. One who witnessed and survived the plague was Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio, who used the experience to create a classic of Italian literature. “The Decameron” is a collection of one hundred tales of Love and Fortune (and some of the sexiest stories of pre-Renaissance Europe.) Considered by some to be the “first” post-modernist, Boccaccio inspired English masters such as Chaucer and Shakespeare. Produced and Presented by David …
  • The Castrati
    In the 18th century, it wasn’t the soprano or the tenor who ruled the operatic stage. It was the castrato. The likes of Farinelli and Pacchierotti were huge stars. Handel, Scarlotti, and Gluck composed for them, and women wore broaches of them pinned to their chest. But that fame came at a price. Produced and presented by Chris Chambers Euroquest August 3, 1999 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Sauna
    It was the Finns who gave the world sauna. To them it represents more than just a warm bath of hot air. It is a spiritual connection with nature. Dheera Sujan goes to cold Finland for a look at how deeply the warm room is ingrained in their culture. Produced and presented by Dheera Sujan. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Mary Cassatt
    In the late 19th century, Mary Cassatt was the only American artist invited into the Impressionist circle in Paris. She was a close friend of Degas, who said of her work: “I am not willing to admit a woman can draw that well.” Her paintings and prints explored the lives of women and she was actively involved in the suffragist movement. She encouraged friends to buy works by the Old Masters and the Impressionists, which became the foundation for collections of European art in American museums …
  • The pilgrim path
    Pilgrims have been walking along the “Camino de Santiago”, the road to Santiago for over a thousand years. Louise Williams joins the path on the border between France and Spain and walks, with some lapses for train and bus rides, the 800 kilometres to the Spanish city of Santiago. She meets with priests, pilgrims and even a troubadour along the way. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was the greatest writer of his time and even Napoleon insisted on meeting him when the French conqueror happened to be passing through Germany with the Grande Armée. Goethe had gained celebrity at an early age, and won both acclaim and notoriety for his writings, some of which are now classics of world literature. This brilliant intellectual and artist wrote four novels, poetry and world-famous dramas, as well as treatises on various scientific subjects, …
  • Goethe’s Faust
    The play “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe created a sensation when the first part of this drama was published in 1808 and is now considered a milestone of world literature. It is the story of the ambitious scholar Heinrich Faust whose wager with the devil Mephistopheles leads to several deaths and the execution of the woman he once desired. We are still trying to figure out what it all means. And there is a second part that is even more complicated… Produced and presented by …
  • Seeds of Hate: Adi, the Artist
    There is no shortage of literature on Hitler and the Third Reich. A recent study mentioned 120,000 pieces of work on Hitler alone. Even so, only a handful are full, serious, scholarly biographies of the Nazi leader and interpretations vary widely.  But according to University of Sheffield historian Ian Kershaw, extensive research in the last two decades sparked his decision to embark on a new biography which attempts to integrate the actions of the dictator into the political structures …
  • Hitler the Artist, with Ian Kershaw
    Historian Ian Kershaw is one of the world’s leading experts on Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. In the first part of his biography of the Nazi dictator, “Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris” , published after ten years of research in 1998, Kershaw seeks to unravel the complexities of personality and politics that went into the making of the man he calls “the most significant figure of the 20th century.” In this program he talks about young “Adi”´s dream to become a great artist, his love …
  • James Joyce in Trieste
    The great Irish writer James Joyce (1882-1941) left Ireland with his wife Nora Barnacle in 1904 and spent the following years in Trieste. This Adriatic port city is now in Italy but was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire at the time. Joyce’s Trieste years were fruitful, resulting in short stories, the brilliant novel “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”, and the earliest pages of “Ulysses”, now considered one of the most important works of literature of the …
  • Borderlines
    The Netherlands and Germany have fought wars, traded goods, intermarried and exchanged royalty. Between neighbours, a border is a state of mind. In a co-production with fellow international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, we look from both sides at our common border and the issues of life for people who live along it and cross over.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Heimat: Blood and citizenship
    In the 20th century, Germans have made a massive transition from extreme nationalism to multicultural democracy. As Marijke van der Meer discovers, the strains of this huge shift have brought on an identity crisis, both in the way Germans see themselves and each other. In the programme, we meet “old” Germans as well as “new” ones with mixed backgrounds.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • The Chosen Few: the Jews of Cracow
    In the first of a two-part series on Europe’s Jewish population, Jonathan Groubert reports on the situation in Poland. Before the Holocaust, 3.5 million Jews lived in Poland. Now there are just around 5000. But ever since Stephen Spielberg’s film’s “Schindler’s List”, there’s been talk of a revival in Kazimierz, home to Poland’s tiny, but struggling Jewish community in the city of Cracow.  But is this revival merely the commercializiation of …
  • Gold & Power: Argonauts, Part 2
    The legendary Golden Fleece of Greek mythology was the prize for the best men of the times. Since then, there have been many generations of Argonauts who have undertaken journeys to the edges of their worlds in search of the ultimate prize. Human moles who exist in the Netherworld of underground tunnels under the southern tip of Africa are perhaps the most miserable of the world’s gold seekers. They dig this gold not for their profit, but for that of the gold companies who have become …
  • Berlin’s Jewish Renaissance
    We continue with the second documentary highlighting Europe’s Jewish population. Lorenza Bacino went to experience the thriving and chaotic situation facing Jews in Berlin. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Borderlines, Part 3 – Protecting the Wadden Sea
    The Netherlands and Germany have fought wars, traded goods, intermarried and exchanged royalty. Between neighbours, a border is a state of mind. In a co-production with fellow international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, we look from both sides of our common border at the issues of life for people who live along it and cross over it every day. Produced and presented by Irene Quaile. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Mean or green: Nuclear power in Western Europe
    Europe’s nuclear power industry is pleading its case as a clean, green source of energy that will help the nations of the world reduce their green house emissions. So how safe, clean, dangerous, expensive and efficient is atomic energy? Jonathan Groubert draws no conclusions, but lets both sides of the story have their say.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Dutch Horizons: Cheese-making
    Dutch cheese made in Ireland (©culture magazine) In this special edition of the programme, Louise William reports from Ireland on the small-scale production of Dutch cheese, such as Gouda and Edam. She meets several (Dutch) farmers who missed their “home cheese” so much that they decided to produce their own Gouda, etc. and with considerable success. Very lively. Dutch Horizons was a weekly radio magazine Programme presented by Bertine Krol and featuring stories of Dutch life and …
  • The one that didn’t get away – North Sea fishing
    Michele Ernsting examines the problems of North Sea fisherman have with Brussels, threatening their livelihood. Are fish stocks being depleted, forcing Brussels to introduce quotas and sometimes bans, or are there other forces at work? We hear from fishermen, biologists and researchers.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Chernobyl in 2001: Fifteen Years after the Nuclear Catastrophe
    In this programme, Liesbeth de Bakker investigates what has become of those who were affected by the worst ever nuclear accident. Many people have been unable to return home as their land is still severely polluted. The struggle to build up a new life elsewhere is hard, especially because of the economic situation in the country and the constant threat of illness. Different kinds of cancer, respiratory illness, heart problems and diseases of the blood affect huge numbers of people in the …
  • Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
    Research File Special – Chernobyl – 15 years after the accident
    In this special, Liesbeth de Bakker visits the 30-kilometre Exclusion Zone around the Chernobyl nuclear plant, site of the biggest recorded nuclear disaster in 1986 to find out how, from a scientific point of view, people, flora and fauna were affected by the fall-out. And what is being done (and can be done) to the reduce the effects. Producer: Liesbeth de Bakker   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Research File: Lyme Disease – In search of treatment
    In this special edition of the programme, Chris Chambers attends a conference in Hull organised by a fellow Lyme Disease sufferer. In this personal odysee for a cure, Chris meets her as well as several international experts. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Cinema diaspora
    Hindi cinema or Bollywood films are a major source of entertainment for many Indians. But these movies are also a major influence on the millions of South Asians who have settled all over the world. And they even appeal to audiences in countries ranging from Japan to Russia. But what do these Bollywood films mean to the present generation of South Asians living in, say, London or The Hague? Jonathan Groubert has been finding out. Produced and presented by Jonathan Groubert Broadcast 10 November …
  • Sound Fountain: The House
      As part of the series Collective Memory, Michele Ernsting presents “The House”. It is the unusual story of a Czech emigré who unexpectedly hears that the old family home in the Bohemian mountains still exists. What he finds under the floorboards when he visits the house brings the painful family past back to life.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Crofts in Netherdale Scotland (© Flickr/kjbax )
    500 good years: Land changes hands in Scotland
    It was not until this century that Scotland abolished the medieval practice of feudal land tenure, whereby vassals had continued to pay owners for use of the land. When this program was made, in the years running up to the passage of key land reform acts in 2003, there was widespread discussion about who should eventually have the right to use or own or buy land , where for centuries crofters had made a simple livelihood, sheep had been grazing, and the local lords went hunting. An emotional …
  • Witch Hunts: McCarthyism, Maleficarum, and Memory
    In this programme we look at three tales of witch hunting:  McCarthyism – the wave of political witch hunts in 1950’s America. We hear about the persecution of those accused of witchcraft in 16th and 17th -century Europe, and we learn about the crafty tricks and spells of Memory. The guests are the late Howard Zinn, professor of American history at Boston University, Hans de Waardt, a specialist in the history of early modern European magic and witchcraft , and professor …
  • Wide Angle: France and Jean-Marie Le Pen
    Jean-Marie Le Pen ( Front national (FN) French correspondent Thijs Berman examines what lies behind the rise of the extreme rightwing Jean-Marie Le Pen who made it through to the final round of the presidential elections. His success shocked not only Frane but Europe and the world as well. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Among the Ruins: From Acropolis to Metropolis
    When this programme was made at the start of the century, Athens was undergoing a radical face-lift in feverish preparation for Greece’s hosting of the 2004 Olympics. What started out as a unification of the archeological sites turned into the biggest planning scheme since the city became the capital of Greece, including the new Acropolis Museum. But many projects were plagued by delays and controversy. Some archeologists feared important finds might be destroyed by the urgent needs of a …
  • Blood, Sweat and Tears: the enduring impact of the Atlantic slave trade
    Africans on a slave ship bound for Brazil, (by Johann Rugendas 1830 (© Wikimedia) In his book Two Thousand Seasons, African writer Ayi Kwei Armah says that it will take two thousand seasons to work through what slavery has done to mankind – “a thousand seasons going into it, a second thousand crawling maimed from it…” The Atlantic slave trade was indeed one of the most brutal examples of man’s inhumanity to man. While Europe and the New World amassed vast profits from the trading of human …
  • A Significant Present: Dutch Mennonites in Poland
    Mennonites are a group of Christians founded by a former priest from Friesland, Menno Simons, in the 16th century. In spite of centuries of persecution and discrimination because of their strong pacifist views and rejection of unconscious baptism, Mennonites still thrive around the world. In fact, because they were not always welcome in the Dutch Republic, they took their excellent farming skills and settled in distant, more tolerant places, such as the Vistula Delta in Poland in the mid-16th …
  • Sound Fountain/Global Perspective: Fishing in troubled waters
    Global perspective: A group of international broadcasters exchanges documentaries with a common theme. This five-part series examines the way in which global forces are challenging business and industry, changing our lives. In Fishing in Troubled Waters, The BBC World Service looks at how Scotland’s fishing industry is weathering the impact of globalisation.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Abruzzo National Park
    The sheer size and beauty of mountains never ceases to provoke feelings of awe, humility and wonder. But mountains are also important water towers and natural habitats for peoples, plants and animals. Inspired by this, the United Nations has declared 2002 to be International Year of the Mountains. Liesbeth de Bakker samples life in Italy’s Appennine Mountains and the Abruzzo National Park – where nature conservation and the economy go hand in hand. Produced and presented by Liesbeth de …
  • Skaftafell: Where Fire and Ice Meet
    The sheer size and beauty of mountains never ceases to provoke feelings of awe, humility and wonder. But mountains are also important water towers and natural habitats for peoples, plants and animals. Inspired by this, the United Nations has declared 2002 to be International Year of the Mountains. Laura Durnford examines Skaftafell in Iceland – and the impact of tourism. Produced and presented by Laura Durnford Featured in Euroquest 29 November, 2002 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens …
  • Enid Blyton: 20th Century Mother Goose
      Books can be a comfort, an escape from the demands and unpleasant realities of life. In this programme, the Sound Fountain looks at the very different public and private life of Enid Blyton, the 20th century Mother Goose. Arguably the most famous and prolific author of the 20th century, Enid Blyton was revered by generations of children. Noddy and Big Ears, the Famous Five, the Secret Seven – stories of adventure and fun. Yet her own family relationships were never as jolly as the lives …
  • Research File special: Science in Iceland
    Predicting earthquakes: Dr. Ragnar Sefansson – Head, Department of Geophysics, Icelandic Meteorological Office, Reykjavik Ptarmigan and Gyr Falcon: Dr. Olafur Nielsen – Animal Ecologist, Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Reykjavik Highland Plantlife Research: Dr. Thora Ellen Thorhallsdottir, Botanist, Iceland University, Reykjavik Iceland’s Penis Museum: Sigurdur Hjartarson, Director, Icelandic Phallogical Museum, Reykjavik Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in …
  • Rivers of the World: the Volga
    This entry is part of the series Rivers of the WorldRivers cradle the world’s earliest civilizations. Mythology and religion were born on their banks. They provide us with life-giving water. We eat of their bounty. Create power from their energy. Radio Netherlands tells the stories of some of these “arteries of the world”. Say “Volga” and everyone thinks immediately of Russia. But over the centuries the Volga has been a crossroads of communication, culture and conquest for people from the four …
  • Iceland be Damned
    In the chilly highlands of Iceland, construction is under way. Roads are being made to serve a new hydro-electric power plant, which doesn’t yet exist. If it’s built, this will be about the largest hydropower scheme possible on the island and will almost double the country’s output of electricity. It will feed its energy to a huge, foreign-owned factory which will be built as the sole customer. But environmentalists are contesting the project. They would rather see this area become a National …
  • The Human Be-In: the Hippies
    In 1967 a huge outdoor event in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco marked the official beginning of the Hippy movement. It was called ‘The Human Be In’. It attracted the focus of world media and signalled a counter-cultural revolution in America. The grey post-war Eisenhower years spawned the philosophy of long hair, pot smoking and flower power. They soon became known as the ‘love generation’; young souls who believed in free love, peace, compassion and the unity of mankind. Join Neville Powis as …
  • Journey to the Well: a Visit with Poet Cathal Ó Searcaigh
    Irish poet Cathal Ó Searcaigh lives in the north of County Donegal on land his family has farmed for generations. Tucked in a beautiful glen under the shadow of Mount Errigal, his house is decked with colorful Tibetan prayer flags. It’s a unique place in the heart of the Gaeltacht region, where Irish is still the everyday language. Irish is also the language in which Ó Searchaigh writes his poetry. A short walk to fetch a bucket of water evokes the Donegal landscape. Produced and Presented by …
  • Leonardo’s Magnificent Failure and the Mona Lisa
    This programme was produced in 2003 to mark the 500th anniversary of what many consider to be the most famous painting in the world. The mysterious smile of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” has intrigued viewers for centuries. But Dr. Roger Masters is more interested in the background of the painting. In particular, the winding river which he believes to be the Arno. Because in 1503, Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli were working together on a plan to re-route the Arno River and make …
  • Let Them Eat Cake
    On July 14th France celebrated Bastille Day, commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution and the ideas of equality and liberty for all. Popular history credits the start of the uprising as a response to Marie Antoinette’s famous words “Let them eat cake.” The peasants were indeed starving from a bread famine, but did the unfortunate monarch really think substituting cake was a solution? And, as one historian claims, was this particular cake responsible for changing the course of modern …
  • Pascal Khoo Thwe: The Land of Green Ghosts
    Destiny brought together two men from different worlds – one a Padaung tribal from the hill tracts of Burma, the other an ivory tower Cambridge don. The meeting would change both their lives forever. Pascal Khoo Thwe became the first Padaung to read English Literature at Cambridge University. His book, “From the Land of Green Ghosts”, won the prestigious Kiriyama Prize for Literature. Produced and presented by Dheera Sujan Broadcast in Vox Humana 26 October 2003 Share this:Click to …
  • Research File special: Hot and cold science in nature’s geological laboratory, Part 2
    Contributors:  Dr. Matthew Roberts: Glaciologist, Geophysics Department, Icelandic Meteorological Office, Reykjavik, Iceland Dr. Freystein Sigmundsen: Director, Nordic Vulcanologial Institute, Reykjavik, Iceland Dr. Reidar Trønnes: Research scientist, on leave from the University of Oslo in Sweden at Nordic Vulcanological Institute, Reykjavik, Iceland Dr. Gerald Ernst, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, United Kingdom Professor Helgi Bjornsson, Glaciologist, Division of …
  • Research File special: Obesity
    Contributors: Professor Jaap Seidell: Professor of nutrition and health at the Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (erstwhile president of the European Association for the Study of Obesity) Professor Philip James: Chairman, International Obesity Task Force Iain, a personal perspective Dr. Ismale Diez de Val, general surgeon, Gastro-oesophogeal Unit, Txagoritxu Hospital, Vitoria, Spain Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • The Volga Boatmen: the Wanderings of an Icon
    The program traces the story of the Volga Boatmen in art, starting with Ilya Repin’s painting of the Barge-Haulers in the Russian Museum in Saint-Petersburg, and an interview with art historian David Jackson of Leeds University on how Repin hit upon the subject and went to the village of Shiryayevo to sketch the men at their work. The program also looks at the Volga Boatmen theme in Russian literature (poetry by Nekrasov, Gorky’s autobiography) and at the large number of musical compositions …
  • Research File special: Hot and cold science in nature’s geological laboratory, Part 1
    Contributors: Dr. John Gratton: Lecturer in geography, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom Dr. Freystein Sigmundsen: Director, Nordic Vulcanological Institute, Reykjavakic, Iceland Dr. Reidar Trønnes: Research scientist, on leave from the University of Oslo in Sweden, at Nordic Vulcanological Institute, Rejkjavik, Iceland Dr. Peter Baxter: Consultant Physician in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Teaching Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom Professor Alan Robock: …
  • The Intriguing Theremin
    People fainted when the Theremin was first performed onstage in Paris in 1928. Its haunting sound resembled voices from beyond the grave. It was the first electronic instrument – and at that time, the only one which is played without actually touching it. Its ingenious maker, the charismatic Russian Leon Theremin was in many ways as mysterious as his invention. Produced and presented by Michele Ernsting Broadcast in Vox Humana 12 September 2004 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new …
  • The Story of the Carmina Burana
    It has been used to advertise coffee and perfume, to rouse the spirit at football games, and even been hijacked for house music and rap. The Carmina Burana does indeed seem indestructible. But who originally wrote these strange songs in Latin and old German? What are they all about? And how did they become the enduring legacy of a 20th century German composer? Produced and presented by Dheera Sujan Broadcast in Vox Humana 19 December 2004 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new …
  • James Meek: “The People’s Act of Love”
    Acclaimed by Newsweek magazine as one of the top ten best works of fiction of the first decade of this century, “The People’s Act of Love” is a novel by British writer and journalist James Meek. Published in 2005, it is set in Siberia during the Russian Civil War and is inspired in part by Meek’s years close to conflict in Ukraine, Russia and Chechnya. Produced and presented by Dheera Sujan 2005 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on …
  • Will the Real Will Shakespeare Please Stand Up?
    The question surrounding the authorship of plays and sonnets by William Shakespeare has been debated for centuries. Two books take very different points of view on the issue. Amsterdam-based author, Rodney Bolt, explores the possibility that Christopher Marlowe wrote the plays. Harvard University professor Stephen Greenblatt is convinced it was no one other than Shakespeare himself. The two writers face-off in a debate hosted by 19th century American humorist Mark Twain who once wrote: …
  • Bridges of Bone and Blood: Searching for the Missing in Bosnia-Herzegovina
    A decade and more after the former Yugoslavia fragmented in bitter conflict, many thousands of people from the region are still missing. In “Bridges of Bone and Blood” – a special edition of The Research File – Laura Durnford visits the International Commission on Missing Persons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and explores the various ways in which its scientists are helping to identify the mortal remains which continue to be discovered. Produced and presented for the Research File by Laura Durnford …
  • Becoming Rebecca West
    A portrait of British journalist/writer Rebecca West (1892-1983) whose life spanned most of the 20th century, with memories from her great-niece and thoughts from an actress who portrays her on stage. Produced and presented by David Swatling Released in Euroquest 11 July 2005 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • A Hiroshima Story
    On a sunny August morning in 1945, Keijiro Matsushima sat in his math class in Hiroshima. He looked out the window, saw two American bombers in the clear blue sky, and suddenly his world was torn apart. Now a retired English teacher, he fears young people today are no longer interested in his story. On a sunny June morning in 2005, Amsterdam English teacher Kevin Hogan’s 11th graders are reading a novel about Hiroshima. They are the same age Mr. Matsushima was sixty years ago. How will they …
  • Law on Trial: the Nuremberg War Crime Trial
    Four of the leading Nazi defendents at Nuremberg during the final session of the war trial, including from left to right Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Wilhelm Keitel (© DiePresse.com) Part 1: The run-up to the trial Part 2: The actual trial With Europe in ruins in 1945 at the end of the Second World War, and tens of millions of people dead, wounded and homeless, the four Allies who had defeated Hitler’s Third Reich in Germany made the unprecedented …
  • Running with Atalanta: Human Trafficking
    In the mid ’90s, two young women studied law – one in The Netherlands and the other in Latvia. Years later their lives would intersect in what the United Nations has called the fastest growing criminal activity in the world: human trafficking. Both women wrote about their experiences: Ruth Hopkins as an advocate, and Anna Ziverte as a victim of trafficking. And both women are critical of the Dutch system that tends to view the victims as criminals. Their stories are told within a tale …
  • The diary of Otto van Eck
    Otto van Eck was just seventeen when he died of tuberculosis in 1798. His name and life had been totally forgotten until the recent discovery of his unique diary. It was started when he was ten years old under the guidance of his parents and gives a fascinating insight into the huge changes taking place in the social, cultural and political aspects of life at this time, all the more remarkable by the fact that it is seen through the eyes of a child. This is the most comprehensive diary by a …
  • Interview with Count Berthold Schenk von Stauffenberg
    In 1944, at the height of the Second World War, high-ranking German officers and officials attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the Third Reich. On July 20, Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg (1907-1944), a colonel in the German Wehrmacht and one of the leaders of the assassination plot, placed a briefcase containing a bomb under a table in the room where Hitler was meeting with generals at his eastern front headquarters, the “Wolf’s Lair” (Wolfschanz). Count …
  • Euro Hit 40 – Review 2007
    For many years, well into this century, Radio Netherlands surveyed the pop music charts of 18 European countries every week and compiled one-hour programmes for rebroadcasting around the world in several languages. This is the 2007 year-end review. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • The European Space Agency’s Research and Technology Center in the Netherlands
    Claire Cavanaugh visits the European Space Research and Technology Center, ESTEC, in Noordwijk in Holland’s North Sea dunes. ESTEC is the “brains” of the European Space Agency ESA,  where the Columbus Lab was  designed for the International Space Station.  Space exploration these days is less dramatic than the early days of moon landings and dogs in orbit, because space travel is now “normal” but is just as important and ground-breaking as ever. …
  • Euro Hit 40 – Review 2008
    For many years, well into this century, Radio Netherlands surveyed the pop music charts of 18 European countries every week and compiled one-hour programmes for rebroadcasting around the world in several languages. This is the 2008 year-end review. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…