Sunday, 31 August 2008

From your own correspondent

Listening to the normally sane Broadcasting House this morning over breakfast. There is a long piece by correspondent in Germany in the 1930s which goes a little like this.

Here at Nuremberg the crowds are out. They are forming orderly queues and their uniforms may look a little dour, but, make no mistake about it, these people are having fun...

(SFX laughter and singing)

[Addresses person picked at random]

- Would you say you were having a good time?
- Ja, ja, a great time indeed.
- And why do you come here?
- It's an act of piety. We consider it a religious duty to the Fatherland.

(SFX: fire crackling)

...And here are people gathered around a fire enjoying toasting bread and frying frankfurters, the fire ingeniously fuelled by old books...

[Addresses another person]

- So why do you use books?
- Of course we are always recycling, thinking of the environment. The Fuehrer has always encouraged this. Excuse me I must get back to my frankfurters...

(more SFX: frying frankfurters, laughter)

...So we see, these people do not conform to stereotype. They carry on leading ordinary lives...

(SFX traffic)

...In Berlin the traffic flows smoothly, both U-Bahn and S-Bahn are clean and well maintained. Occasionally there is a little trouble in the suburbs but where is there no trouble? The trains run on time. The shops are full of goods and there is no shortage of police to patrol the streets and make sure the streets are swept and, if necessary, licked clean...

(SFX different traffic)

...I am standing by the walls of what appears to have been a religious building. On it we see graffiti such as JUDEN RAUS. And of course that reminds us that the German hatred of Jews dates back to the Great War when the Jews sold them out and stabbed them in the back, putting their puppet Weimar government in the freely elected Kaiser's place. This is something Germans tend to remember...

[Steps over corpse]

...Of course not everything is perfect. There are corners of the city where there is litter...

[Contemplates hanged bodies of gay man and gypsy]

(SFX Bierkeller band)

...But each society has its own ways and character. We tend only to hear about the darker side of Germany. But they are people like anyone else. People like us, in fact. People very like us.

But now I remember, it wasn't 1930's Germany. It was contemporary Iran. Make your own substitutions.


Anonymous said...

Do you have a direct link to this?

Anonymous said...

Love your description. This morning's report was almost a parody on its own.

George S said...

The link is here, I think.

Not sure though whether that is to this week's or last week's. I tried linking soon after the programme finished but that was still last week's. The item was about twenty minutes in of today's programme. I'll try and chase it up. Nicole Segre (above) also heard it.