The Children of Belsen

This is not a sad story. Is the opening line to this radio programme.


Here is the full version of the BBC World Service, radio programme, produced for the Children of Belsen documentary filmed in April 2018, including the voice of Patrick Gordon Walker, from the BBC radio archives from 1945. Walker, a British journalist was one of the first to enter Bergen Belsen and he recorded the voices of three of the children of the camp. One of them of course was Hetty.

This is a very personal look at the story of Hetty and her brothers Jacky and Maxy but also discusses some of the history of the inmates of Bergen Belsen. Hetty has been sharing her account with as many others as possible over the years, however, interviewer Mike Lanchin retraces the story of Hetty’s journey over a few days of intimate discussions. It includes singing of the children of Belsen at liberation and interviews of other children, now elderly people, who give their own insight to their experiences. Lastly it also includes interviews of Hetty’s daughter and grandson who talk out for the first time about being part of family, with a holocaust survivor.

A beautifully produced programme that will be a wonderful legacy for Hetty’s family and the world. Hetty begins by saying  “This in not a sad story ” and actually believe it or not – she is quite right!