The BBC censored ‘Jews’ from Richard Dimbleby’s 1945 report from Belsen
Richard Brooks has an interesting story of Richard Dimbleby’s [RD] BBC broadcast from the Belsen death camps. It was April 1945. Thousands of dead bodies littered the gound:
IT WAS “the most horrible” day of his life and the most shocking broadcast of the Second World War. Millions listening in Britain could hear the horror in Richard Dimbleby’s voice as he stepped past the bodies on the ground at the liberated Belsen concentration camp.
However, nowhere in the report was there any mention of the fact that most of the victims were Jews.
Hereditary BBC journalist Jonathan Dimbleby [JD] says his father’s words were censored by the BBC. He tells the Sunday Times:
“It was, I think, because the BBC needed more sources to support what had happened to the Jews, and worries that, if you mentioned one group of people and not others, it might seem biased or wrong.”
Biased in favour of the Jews? At the BBC in the 1940s? Really?
“I know my father was utterly devastated from talking later to a couple of others with him then. But I can’t recall a single sentence he uttered about the war to me.”
Brooks’ says that “like so many who had experienced the war, [RD] did not like to discuss it”.
He was on the ruddy telly. He was journalist, an eyewitness. Tell it. Tell everyone. Of course, talking to your nearest and dearest of the horrors you’ve witnessed can be hard.
In April this year, 70 years after the liberation of Belsen, his son talked to a Jewish group in Manchester: “They said my father was a real hero to them for what he had revealed to the world.”
But people knew. Many knew.
This is a BBC memo from 1942:
Such are the facts.