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 programme 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. General Charles Foulkes, speaking on the fifth anniversary of the event: A day before, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery had accepted the …
  • The spirit of peace
    At the height of the international debate on the deployment of a new generation of nuclear missiles in both East and West, Amsterdam hosted a five-day conference on what an individual can contribute to world peace. Subtitled: culture, religion 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 and psychiatrists. 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. …
  • 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
    This programme is part of the series Media NetworkIn 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 Broadcast: August 20, 1988 The Media Network Vintage Vault 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 programme is part of the series In So Many WordsWhen 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 continents, …
  • In so many words – Language cultures of the European Community: Part 2, French
    This programme is part of the series In So Many Words  French 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 programme is part of the series In So Many WordsGerman has more native speakers in Europe than any other language in the European Union: 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 …
  • In so many words – Language cultures of the European Community: Part 5, English
    This programme is part of the series In So Many WordsFor 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, business affairs, telecommunications and popular entertainment, 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 English on a …
  • In so many words – Language cultures of the European Community: Part 10, Italian
    This programme 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 …
  • In so many words – Language cultures of the European Community: Part 9, Danish
    This programme is part of the series In So Many WordsThe 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 programme is part of the series In So Many WordsDid 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 minority …
  • In so many words – Language cultures of the European Community: Part 8, Spanish
    This programme is part of the series In So Many WordsWhen 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 Spanish, a …
  • In so many words – Language cultures of the European Community: Part 7, Portuguese
    This programme is part of the series In So Many WordsPortuguese 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 language of …
  • Gabcikovo Dam
    Healing the wounds: The environmental disaster in Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia: it has been described at the most polluted country in the world, the planet’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. Under communist rule, industrial output and jobs …
  • Notes from the New World: Music from the Americas, Part 1 of 6 – Europe and the Americas
    This programme is part of the series Notes from the New WorldMarking 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 Dvořák, who wrote one of the most magnificent musical homages to America, Giacomo Puccini’s “The Girl from the …
  • Radio Moscow
    Media Network: The coup in the Soviet Union
    This programme is part of the series Media NetworkJonathan 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 includes the official Radio Moscow announcement that President Gorbachev was “too ill” to carry on. Former Radio Moscow journalist Vasily Strelnikov is interviewed extensively about the way the Soviet media operated in “crisis …
  • 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? Producer: Veronica Wilson Broadcast: November 1992 Share …
  • 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 use dodgy boats to cross to Spain, their gateway into Europe. Each year, many drown along the way. Many others are arrested off the Spanish coast. What happens to them?  Producer: Eric Beauchemin Broadcast: November 7, 1992 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 Serbian militiamen, though Croats and Muslims aren’t free of blame – have devised a strategy to terrorise the civilian population. The war strategy includes the raping of women and girls, some as young as 10 years old. Producer: Eric …
  • 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 former Yugoslav president Dobrosav Ćosić (1921-2014) in 1985. It was part of a memorandum published by the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which President Slobodan Milošević (1941-2006), would use as his political …
  • 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 East Bloc. 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. Producer: Eric Beauchemin Broadcast: …
  • 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 middle-class families in Serbia. Producer: Eric Beauchemin Broadcast: April 30, 1994 …
  • 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 – 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 Milošević (1941-2006). The sanctions failed on both counts. The fighting is …
  • 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 was just around the corner. Everyone …
  • Armed Forces Network Europe
    Media Network: Armed Forces Network
    This programme is part of the series Media NetworkJonathan Marks presents a profile of the American Forces Network Europe. With interviews and radio clips tracing the role and influence of the AFN, especially during the Cold War period when there were hundreds of thousands of American troops stationed in Europe. Producer: Jonathan Marks Broadcast: August 17, 1994 The Media Network Vintage Vault Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new …
  • 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. Producer: Eric Beauchemin Broadcast: August 24, 1994 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • 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 flee 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. Producer: Eric Beauchemin Broadcast: June 19, 1996 Transcript Five years ago, fighting began in the heart of Europe: the Balkans. Over a quarter 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 Alekseyevich, 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 in ancient traditions into a country that came to play a leading role in world science, art and ideas. As we hear in this three-part documentary produced to mark the 300th anniversary of Peter’s …
  • 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, 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.  Producers: Eric Beauchemin & Dheera Sujan Broadcast: September 16, 1996 Transcript …
  • 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 traumatised by the war, according to a report by the European Community Humanitarian Office. Another 700.000 are in need of therapy. Some organizations put …
  • 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 Alekseyevich, 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 in 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’s …
  • 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. Producer: Eric Beauchemin Broadcast: November 13, 1996 Transcript Wide Angle, a …
  • Crossing the peaceline in Northern Ireland
    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. Producer: Maggie Ayre Broadcast: November 1996 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens …
  • Living on the land: Crofting in Scotland – Part 3 of 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 Scottish 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. Presenter: Kenneth McDonald Broadcast: 1996 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens …
  • Living on the land: The new pioneers in Ireland – Part 2 of 3
    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. Producer: Mehall Holmes Broadcast: 1996 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook …
  • Living by the water: Beyond the call of duty – Part 2 of 3
    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 of RTE Ireland goes aboard the lifeboat to talk to the men and women who go beyond the all of duty. Reporter: Meehaal Holmes Broadcast: 1996 …
  • Living by the water: Anstruther lifeboat volunteers – Part 3 of 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 their lifeboat volunteers. Presenter: John Knox Broadcast: 1996 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Violent women: The growing number of acts of violence committed by women
    “Sugar and spice” fail to describe the nature of women in the 1990’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”. Producer: Mindy Ran Broadcast: 1996 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook …
  • Highlands & Lowlands: The last border (between England and Scotland)
    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: Tales from the border (in Limburg)
    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 the border no …
  • Highlands & Lowlands: Highlands – 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.  Producer: John …
  • Greenland: To wear the burden with dignity, Part 2 of 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 …
  • Greenland: The land of the people, Part 1 of 2
    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. Producer: Michele …
  • Close neighbours, distant friends, Part 2 of 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 of 2: 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: 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 …
  • The shack from where Radio Euskadi broadcast in Venezuela
    A voice from outside of town: Radio Euskadi, the voice of the Basque underground
    To mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Radio Euskadi, Media Network presents an in-depth investigation into the history surrounding the Basque clandestine radio station, which is now a legal public broadcaster in Spain’s Basque Country. Producers: Eric Beauchemin & Jonathan Marks Broadcast: February 27, 1997 Transcript A voice from outside of town, Radio Netherlands Media Network reveals the mystery of the voice behind the Basque underground. The programme is narrated by …
  • La Famiglia: The family in Italy
    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 capita than any other country in Europe, that’s a lot of lonely old people.  Producer: Louise Williams …
  • Sagrada Familia
    Catalonia: The continuing struggle
    Many Spaniards grudgingly admit that Catalonia should have greater autonomy and that a redistribution of tax revenues would bring government closer to the people. But the poorer regions in Spain worry about the effects of the redistribution of tax revenues. Many wonder that the calls by Catalonia and the other autonomous regions for an ever greater say over their own affairs could ultimately lead to the break-up of the Spanish state. Producer: Eric Beauchemin Broadcast: April 23, 1997 …
  • Shai Shahar: Gigolo
    Dheera Sujan meets this former sex worker, but also soldier, journalist and jazz singer. He has just published a booked called “Bedgeheimen van een gigolo” or the “Bedroom secrets of a gigolo”. Topics of discussion, apart from the obvious, include the nature of sexual fantasy and the relationship between sex and God. Producer: Dheera Sujan Broadcast: May 11, 1997     Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in …
  • 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? Producer: Eric Beauchemin Presenter: Ginger da Silva Broadcast: June 2, 1997 The programme was awarded a silver medal by Radio y Televisión de Andalucía (RTVA) in 1998. …
  • 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. Producer: …
  • 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 a …
  • 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. 10,000 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 Georgia. …
  • A tale of two cities: Part 2 of 3 – Dublin & Cork
    Continuing our look at rivalry between cities, Michael Holmes of RTE Ireland visits the Irish capital Dublin and its jealous sibling, Cork, to find out if there’s a real animosity between the citizens of the capital and the province.  Presenter: Michael Holmes Broadcast: September 5, 1997  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • A tale of two cities: Part 3 – Glasgow and Edinburgh
    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, enjoyed 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 BBC Scotland …
  • 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 …
  • The struggle for the Caucasus oil
    The French oil company Total has defied the U.S. government and signed a 2 billion dollar deal with Iran to develop offshore gas fields. In response, Washington has threatened to impose sanctions on the company. But it’s not just the Middle East where the United States is trying to impose its will on the oil business. In Central Asia, the U.S. is trying to take control of oil and gas deposits, which have traditionally been the reserve of Russia. In the middle of this struggle between the …
  • Merry monks and mad malters
    It’s little known outside of Europe, but Belgian beer is probably the best in the world. From the mediaeval monastic health studs, through the ales of Antwerp, the lambic tradition of Brussels and the wheat beers of Flanders. Journalist and beer lover Mindy Ran tours, tastes and reports on the history, culture and the future of the Belgian brew.  Producer: Mindy Ran Broadcast: November 1997 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in …
  • 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 …
  • 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. Immigrant groups are calling on Spain and the European Union to review their …
  • 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 …
  • Seville Cathedral
    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. Producer: Eric Beauchemin Broadcast: November 18, 1997 Transcript Radio Netherlands, the Dutch International Service, presents “At a crossroad – …
  • Palace of the People in Bucharest
    The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest
    Romania’s dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu used a major earthquake in his country in 1977 as a pretext to demolish the old buildings in the capital Bucharest and build a new 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 world’s second largest administrative building after the Pentagon. Its construction came at an enormous cost, both financial and human.  Producer: …
  • 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 Milošević 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. Radio Netherlands looks 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. Producer: Eric Beauchemin 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 are being particularly hard hit by the collapse of communism in 1989. The number of children in institutions or foster families in eastern and central Europe has risen by 30% over the past decade. Child labour is increasing as families struggled to survive. And throughout the region, more and more children are being abandoned to their fate and wound up on the streets. The situation in Romania is particularly dire. Producer: Eric Beauchemin Broadcast: February 4, 1998 Transcript Radio …
  • 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 during the Great Famine in the mid-19th century.  Presenter: Joe Murray, RTE Irish Public Radio Broadcast: February 6, 1998 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. Presenter: Dorian Wood, Radio Scotland Broadcast: February 13, 1998 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens …
  • Hope in Vesuvius: The threats facing Italy’s cultural heritage
    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. Producer: Louise Williams Broadcast: February 27, 1998 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share …
  • 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 …
  • 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 has been a great deal of reporting on the political turmoil, 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. There are increasing rates of suicide, alcoholism, domestic violence and mental illness. The Geneva Initiative on Psychiatry, an organisation set up in the early …
  • 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 EXPO …
  • 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 …
  • The road to justice: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
    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.  Producer: Lorenza Bacino Broadcast: July 28, 1998 Share this:Click to share on Twitter …
  • Travel writer 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. Producer: Dheera Sujan Broadcast: August 2, 1998 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • The outsiders: Bulgaria’s Roma
    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.  Producer: Eric Beauchemin Broadcast: September 18, 1998 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new …
  • The hunters and the hunted: The ongoing controversy over whaling
    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. Producer: …
  • 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 …
  • 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? Producer: Lyndsay Cannon Broadcast: February 5, 1999 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 inland skippers. Bulk transport on 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 lorry transport . Producer: Liesbeth de Bakker Broadcast: March 19, 1999 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook …
  • 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. Presenter Billy Kay talks with a whole host of people, including a woman who talks openly about discovering for the first time that she has gypsy connections.  Presenter: Billy Kay Producer: Mike Shaw Broadcast: April 9, 1999 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Imigrazione Italian-style
    The last decade has seen Italy change from a land of emigration to a destination for immigrants. Normally a homogeneous society, immigration has 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. Producer: Lorenza Bacino Broadcast: April 16, 1999 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Weimar: Cultural Capital of Europe in 1999
    In 1999 the German city of Weimar was honoured as the Cultural Capital of Europe. This title is awarded annually to cities with an especially rich cultural heritage. Weimar was not only home to some of Germany’s greatest writers and thinkers– including Goethe and  Schiller, no less–  but it was also an important center of 19th -century classical music and the home of the Bauhaus, one of the most important schools of 20th-century design—until that is, Hitler’s …
  • Callanish Stones, on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland
    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. Producer: Martha Hawley Broadcast: June 6, 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 freezing Finland for a look at how deeply the warm room is ingrained in their culture. Producer: Dheera Sujan Broadcast: August 9, 1999 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • 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. Producer: Louise Williams Broadcast: August 27, 1999 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on …
  • 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 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. He …
  • Seeds of hate: Hitler, 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 …
  • 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: Part 1 of 2
    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.  Producer: Maggie Ayre Broadcast: August 18, 2000 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.  Producer: Marijke van der Meer Broadcast: October 1, 2000 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new …
  • 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 commercialisation of a …
  • 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. Producer: Lorenza Bacino Broadcast: November 2000 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Borderlines: Part 2 of 2 – 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. Producer: Irene Quaile Broadcast: November 17, 2000 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new …
  • 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.  Producer: Jonathan Groubert Broadcast: December 22, 2000 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new …
  • 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 with considerable success.  Dutch Horizons was a weekly radio magazine programme presented by Bertine Krol and featuring stories of Dutch life and culture. Reporter: …
  • 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.  Producer: Michele Ernsting Broadcast: May 2, 2001 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Near Sniper's Alley, Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina
    Sarajevo stories
    Lorenza Bacino visits Sarajevo, which was under siege for more than three years. During the war, the cohesion between Serbs, Bosnians and Moslems was destroyed. Three people tell the story of how they lived through that period and how they feel about their city now.  Producer: Lorenza Bacino Broadcast: June 5, 2001 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 world’s 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 has been 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 blood disorders affect huge numbers of people …
  • Vincent Van Gogh painting Sunflowers, painted by Paul Gauguin in 1888
    Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin
    Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin were two of the greatest painters of their age. The nine stormy weeks they spent working together in Arles in the south of France at the end of 1888 marked one of the most important and intriguing examples of artistic collaboration in history. That story became widely known to mass audiences through the Irving Stone novel and film “Lust for Life”, and it was also the focus of a major exhibition. “The Studio of the South”, as they called …
  • Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
    Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone: 15 years after the accident
    Liesbeth de Bakker visits the 30-kilometre Exclusion Zone around the Chernobyl power 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 Broadcast: September 27, 2001   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Lyme disease: In search of treatment
    In this special edition of the Research File, Chris Chambers attends a conference in Hull organised by a fellow Lyme Disease sufferer. In this personal odyssey for a cure, Chris meets her as well as several international experts. Producer: Chris Chambers Broadcast: October 23, 2001 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Collective memory: The house, Part 1 of 4
    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.  Producer: Michele Ernsting Broadcast: December 9, 2001 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 programme 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, 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  Elizabeth …
  • Wide Angle: Chechnya
    The war in the breakaway Russian republic is no longer frontpage news, but the fighting continues. Soldiers are still getting wounded and killed, while Chechens keep disappearing. Moscow correspondent Geert Groot-Koerkamp reports from the republic about the latest situation.  Reporter: Geert Groot-Koerkamp Broadcast: March 3, 2002 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • France and Jean-Marie Le Pen (2002)
    Radio Netherlands’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 France but Europe and the world as well. Reporter: Thijs Berman Broadcast: May 5, 2002 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Blood, sweat and tears: The enduring impact of the Atlantic slave trade
    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 souls, Africa suffered a moral, physical and demographic …
  • Global Perspective: Fishing in troubled waters
    This programme is part of the series Global PerspectiveA 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.  Broadcast: 2002 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new …
  • 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 the International Year of the Mountains. Liesbeth de Bakker samples life in Italy’s Apennine Mountains and the Abruzzo National Park where nature conservation and the economy go hand in hand. Producer: Liesbeth de Bakker Broadcast:  …
  • 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 the International Year of the Mountains. Laura Durnford examines Skaftafell in Iceland and the impact of tourism. Producer: Laura Durnford Broadcast: November 29, 2002 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to …
  • Science in Iceland
    Laura Durnford presents a wide variety of scientific stories from the Land of Ice and Fire. 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, …
  • 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 hydro-power 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 …
  • Rivers of the World: The Volga
    This programme is part of the series Rivers of the WorldRivers are the cradle of the world’s earliest civilisations. Mythology and religion were born on their banks. They provide us with life-giving water. We eat of their bounty and 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 …
  • Iceland: Hot and cold science in nature’s geological laboratory, Part 1
    The summer of 1783 seemed like the end of the world for European farmers. A dry, foul-smelling fog settled on the land one day—desolating crops, burning plants, and killing people. In one French village a third of the parishioners died, and in England the death rate doubled. We now know that this catastrophe was caused by nature: a volcanic eruption on remote, virtually unexplored Iceland. This island is unique in the way it brings together in close proximity both freeze and fire, the dramatic …
  • Iceland: Hot and cold science in nature’s geological laboratory, Part 2
    The summer of 1783 seemed like the end of the world for European farmers. A dry, foul-smelling fog settled on the land one day—desolating crops, burning plants, and killing people. In one French village a third of the parishioners died, and in England the death rate doubled. We now know that this catastrophe was caused by nature: a volcanic eruption on remote, virtually unexplored Iceland. This island is unique in the way it brings together in close proximity both freeze and fire, the dramatic …
  • 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 the conflicts in Ukraine, Russia and Chechnya. Producer: Dheera Sujan Broadcast: 2005 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on …
  • Enough is Enough – Albania’s Environmental Challenges
    The programme opens with a visit to Porto Romano, one of Albania’s worst environmental hotspots. Tonnes of toxic chemicals have been left on a former industrial site where people have made their homes. The situation reflects Albania’s communist legacy: the xenophobic Communist regime, in its attempt to achieve self-reliance, showed no concern for the environment and waste disposal. Porto Romano will be cleaned up with money from the Dutch. Producer: Hélène Michaud Broadcast: March …
  • Bridges of bone and blood: Searching for the missing in Bosnia and 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”, 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. Producer: Laura Durnford Broadcast: July 11, 2005 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new …
  • Guerillas without guns
    Young activists from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, from Belgrade to Baku, meet for the first time at the Tirana Activist Festival to formalise their cooperation. Since the bloodless revolution in Serbia, they have been training each other in the art of non-violent resistance. Those with experience in Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine share their experiences with activists from Belarus and Azerbaijan who are still waiting for their own democratic revolution to take place. “Guerillas without …
  • Sólheimar: A place in the sun
    At an hour’s drive from the Icelandic capital Reykjavik lies the village of Sólheimar in a valley amidst hot springs. That in itself doesn’t make this town stand out, yet Sólheimar is a special place with special people. The community was founded 75 years ago by an idealistic Icelandic woman, Sesselja Sigmundsdottir (1902-1974), a follower of the anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner. Today, Sólheimar is a so-called eco-village. It’s pretty much self-supporting, with organic farming and a hot spring …
  • Law on trial: The Nuremberg War Crime 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 decision to place the Nazi leaders responsible for the war on trial, specifically for “the crime of waging aggressive war”. By putting war itself on trial, the prosecutors were virtually placing the law on trial.  Would it be possible for the …
  • Modes of HIV transmission in Ukraine in 2007 (©Wikimedia Commons)
    The pearl and the plague: HIV/AIDS in Ukraine
    The HIV/AIDS epidemic broke out among intravenous drug users and sex workers in Ukraine in the early 2000’s. It is now one of the most serious in Europe. An estimated 400,000 Ukrainians are now living with the virus. As producer Hélène Michaud discovers, a new face of the virus is emerging: more and more young people who do not belong to marginalised groups are getting infected. In the programme, Dutch doctor Alexander Thissen returns to the clinic where he worked for 15 months at the …
  • “The city of falling angels”
    Chris Chambers talks to acclaimed author John Berendt about his new book, “The City of Falling Angels”. In his second novel, Berendt turns his sharp, journalistic eye on the people of Venice. It’s a book of eccentricities and intrigues, and shows the ancient city ‘warts and all’. Producer:  Chris Chambers Broadcast: March 18, 2006 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Family mystery, family myth
    This is Jonathan Groubert’s story, but it could be yours too. It goes like this: his grandfather, Isaac, and all his family were from a small city in northwestern Poland called Konin. In 1905, they emigrated, no, escaped Polish anti-Semitism, grinding poverty and vicious persecution to a glorious new life of freedom and complete tolerance in America in 1906. It seems this was all a lie. In “Family Mystery, Family Myth”, Jonathan Groubert travels from the Netherlands to the US, …
  • Russians celebrating Maslenitsa or Butter Week, a Slavic holiday which has its origins in the pagan tradition
    Pagans and patriarchs
    Since the fall of communism, Russia has seen a rebirth of religious worship, especially in the once so powerful Russian Orthodox Church. But the Russian Federation is home to a vast diversity of cultures, with their own languages and religions. Some of these are now being revived after centuries of repression. While younger generations tend to see these ancient traditions as folklore, the older generations see them as religious rites. As part of the Saint Petrovo’s Day rite among the …
  • Running with Atalanta: Human trafficking
    In the mid 1990’s, 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 because of the fact that it is seen through the eyes of a child. This is the most comprehensive diary …
  • A conversation with James Meek
    James Meek talks about his latest novel “A People’s Act of Love”. The book interweaves a number of complex themes including castration, cannibalism, love and revolution. James Meek has covered Russia, Eastern Europe, Chechnya and Iraq as a correspondent for the Guardian newspaper. Producer: Dheera Sujan Broadcast: August 1, 2006 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…
  • Euro Hit 40: 2007 year-end review
    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. Tim Fisher presents the 2007 year-end review. Producer: Tim Fisher Broadcast: December 21, 2007 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
    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 it is just as important and ground-breaking as ever. …
  • Euro Hit 40: 2008 year-end review
    For many years, well into the 21st 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. Tim Fisher presents the 2008 year-end review. Producer: Tim Fisher Broadcast: December 21, 2008 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)…