300 episodes

History as told by the people who were there.

Witness History BBC

    • History

History as told by the people who were there.

    Scoring a victory for women's rights in Turkey

    Scoring a victory for women's rights in Turkey

    In 2004 feminist campaigners in Turkey forced a radical change in the law on crimes against women. The overhaul of the country's 80-year-old penal code meant a redefinition of crimes such as rape and sexual assault; references to chastity, honour and virginity were also removed from the legislation. It was a major victory for a group of women who had been pressing for reform for years and was also one of the conditions for Turkey's accession talks with the European Union. Mike Lanchin has been speaking to Pinar Ilkkaracan, who led the successful campaign for legal change.

    (PHOTO: TARIK TINAZAY/AFP via Getty Images)

    • 9 min
    Introducing The Bomb

    Introducing The Bomb

    Emily’s grandad worked on the bomb that fell on Hiroshima. Could another man – Leo Szilard - have stopped it? This is the new series from the BBC World Service – search for The Bomb wherever you get your podcasts.

    • 2 min
    Beirut's Hotel War

    Beirut's Hotel War

    At the start of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975, Beirut’s luxury hotel district was turned into a battlefield, with rival groups of gunmen holed up in some of the most expensive accommodation in the Middle East. In 2014, William Kremer spoke to two former employees of the Holiday Inn about what came to be known as the Battle of the Hotels.

    Photo: The ruins of the Holiday Inn. (Credit: Getty Images)

    • 8 min
    Bremen’s Elephant Statue

    Bremen’s Elephant Statue

    Amid the ongoing debate about how to handle historical monuments which commemorate colonialism and slavery, Witness History hears the story of a giant statue of an elephant in the German city of Bremen.

    The port city had played a significant role in Germany's colonial past, and after Germany lost its territories in Africa following the First World War the statue was built there in memory of the period.

    But in the 1980s, a group of anti-apartheid activists campaigned to raise awareness of Germany's colonial history - and to rededicate the elephant statue.

    Lucy Burns speaks to Professor Manfred Hinz, who was part of the campaign.

    Photo: Shutterstock - the anti-colonial elephant monument in Bremen, 08/07/2020

    • 10 min
    Radar and World War Two

    Radar and World War Two

    During World War Two, British women were employed as operators of a top-secret radar system for detecting aircraft. The new technology had helped shift the balance of power in the air war with Nazi Germany. Laura Fitzpatrick talks to Margaret Faulds, who was stationed at a Royal Navy Air Station during the war.

    PHOTO: Margaret Faulds in naval uniform during World War Two (Personal Collection).

    • 8 min
    The atomic bombs dropped on Japan

    The atomic bombs dropped on Japan

    The USA dropped its first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6th 1945. Three days later a second atomic bomb was detonated over Nagasaki. The explosion was bigger than the blast at Hiroshima and killed 70,000 people. Louise Hidalgo introduces recordings from the BBC archive.

    (Photo: Mushroom cloud in the sky. Credit: US Air Force/Press Association)

    • 8 min

Top Podcasts In History

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by BBC