The History Show

    Sunday, 6pm

    The History Show Sunday 26 April 2015

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    The History Show

    Irish Folklore Collection

    Anna Bale of the Department of Folklore at University College Dublin talks about a 1930s oral history project. National school pupils spoke to older people in their area about how life was lived in the past, and wrote the information into school copy books.

    Decco the Caveman

    Bobby Aherne, author of the book 'D'you Remember Yer Man? A Portrait of Dublin's Famous Characters' with an anecdote about Decco the Caveman.

    Mary Russell on the Armenian Genocide

    Travel writer Mary Russell recalls cycling through Syria, and reflects on the fate of the Armenians deported there during the First World War.

    The Last Days of the Third Reich

    Our reporter Lorcan Clancy spoke to UCD historian Rober Gerwarth about life in Hitler's bunker in the final months of World War 2. Then, Irish Times Deputy Editor, and former Berlin Correspondent Denis Staunton reflects on how the Nazis are moving from living memory to history, and the ongoing trial of Oscar Groening, the "Book Keeper of Auschwitz".

    Book Club - Armenian Golgotha

    Our book club choice is 'Armenian Golgotha' by Grigoris Balakian, an eyewitness account of the Armenian Genocide. Myles was joined by John Horne, Professor of Modern European History at Trinity College Dublin; Denis Staunton, Deputy Editor of The Irish Times; and Doctor Maria Falina of the Centre for War Studies at UCD.

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    Irish Folklore Collection

    In the 1930s, national schools around the country were encouraged to ask their pupils to talk to older people in their area, to find out how life was lived in the past.  

    The information was written into school copy books and stored for years at the Department of Folklore at University College Dublin. 

    A sample page from UCD's Schools Collection. More material can be viewed at duchas.ie

    More recently, with technical assistance from the Fiontar school in DCU, this collection is being made available online through the website duchas.ie.  Now, they are looking for help from users of the site in having the material transcribed.

    Myles talks to Anna Bale of the Department of Folklore in UCD.

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    Mary Russell on the Armenian Genocide

    Travel writer Mary Russell recalls cycling through Syria, and reflects on the fate of the Armenians deported there during the First World War.  Click here to visit Mary's website.

     Armenian civilians, escorted by armed Ottoman soldiers in April 1915

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    The Last Days of the Third Reich

    This day, seventy years ago, on the 26th of April 1945, the Third Reich was just days away from total military defeat. Adolf Hitler was holed up in an underground bunker in Berlin, while the battle for the city raged above him. Our reporter Lorcan Clancy spoke to historian Robert Gerwarth, director of the Centre for War Studies at University College Dublin, and found out more about the dictator's final months living in the Fuhrerbunker.

    One of the last photographs of Hitler, giving awards to members of the Hitler Youth, on his birthday, April 20, 1945

    Denis Staunton, Deputy Editor of the Irish Times joined Myles. He was also the paper’s Berlin Correspondent for many years.  He gave his take on a German museum's plans to partially reconstruct Hitler's bunker as a tourist attraction, and the ongoing trial of Oskar Groening, the "Book Keeper of Auschwitz".

    Book Club - Armenian Golgotha

    100 years ago this week, around 250 notable people in Constantinople - intellectuals, journalists, teachers, and politicians - were arrested and moved to holding centres.  All of those imprisoned were leaders of the Armenian community in Constantinople, present day Istanbul. They were rounded up on the order of the Interior Minister of the Ottoman Empire.

    This event in 1915 marked the start of arrests, killings, mass deportation and ethnic cleansing of more than one million Armenians from Anatolia, now modern day Turkey. 

    To mark the centenary of these events, our book club choice this month is Armenian Golgotha. It's a devastating eyewitness account written by Grigoris Balakian, an Armenian clergyman in the city in 1915.

    The book Armenian Golgotha. The author, Grigoris Balakian, is pictured on the cover

    In the introduction, Grigoris Balakian wrote:

    "I dedicate to you, dear people of Armenia, this bouquet of episodes from your martyrdom.

    This bloody manuscript is your holy book. Read it without tiring, never doubt my story of the great crime, and never think what has been written has been in any way exaggerated.

    I have written the bare minimum - because it’s not humanly possible to describe the horrific and ineffable martyrdom of your over one million dead sons and daughters.

    If all the seas on the earth were to become ink, the fields paper, and the reeds pens, still it would be humanly impossible to describe your thorny and bloody ascent to the summit of the Armenian Golgotha."

     Armenian Children in queue, circa 1915 - 1917

    To discuss the book, and the Armenian Genocide in general, Myles was joined in studio by John Horne, Professor of Modern European History at Trinity College Dublin; Denis Staunton, Deputy Editor of the Irish Times; and Doctor Maria Falina of UCD's Centre for War Studies.

    May Book Club - Waterloo: The Aftermath by Paul O'Keeffe

    To mark the 200th anniversart of the Battle of Waterloo, our May Book Club choice is Waterloo: The Aftermath by Paul O'Keeffe.  

    About The Show

    Bringing the past to life! Discover how our world was shaped as Myles Dungan and guests explore events ranging from medieval times to the recent past.

    We want to help explain ourselves to ourselves. We will search out fresh angles on familiar topics, seek out the unfamiliar and will not shy away from bizarre or controversial issues. Our ultimate goal is to make The History Show the primary port of call for those with an intense or even a modest interest in the subject. We want to entice the casual and the curious to join us in celebrating the past.

    Our aim is to create informative, reflective, stimulating and above all, entertaining radio.

    Join us on Sundays from 6.05pm for The History Show with Myles Dungan on RTÉ Radio 1.

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