The State We're In, 5 November 2011. A British woman recounts being rescued by a Nazi U-Boat commander – the man responsible for torpedoing the ship she was on. A Dutch woman tracks down the father she never knew and finds him living on the streets in Australia. And a long-distance runner from Western Sahara competes for a nation that isn’t yet recognized.
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In 1943, Josephine Pratchett and her family were on board the RMS Laconia when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat 600 miles off the coast of west Africa.
The order was given by Commander Werner Hartenstein. When Hartenstein realised what he’d done, he ordered his men to rescue the survivors.
The long way home
After rescuing nearly 400 survivors, Commander Hartenstein radios for help. American forces think it’s a trick and attack, leaving Hartenstein no choice: he orders Josephine and other survivors back into their lifeboats.
The Sinking of the Laconia is now a British-German produced TV film, written by Alan Bleasdale.
Karlene Robinson grew up in the Netherlands knowing nothing about her Australian father, other than his first name. But with help from a Dutch TV program Karlene found her dad: he was living on the streets of Sydney, Australia.
Karlene and her father, Ian, tell Jonathan what it means to have a father-daughter relationship after 30 years of no contact (more photos below).
Watch Karlene and her father Ian meet for the first time (video in Dutch)
Salah Ameidan dreams of going to the Olympics, and winning gold for his country.
There’s just one problem: he’s Sahrawi, from the Western Sahara - a disputed territory that Morocco claims as its own.
Unable to represent his own people, and forced instead to run for the Moroccan national team, Salah hatched a plan that shocked his oppressors, but keeps his hopes of winning a medal, and homeland, alive. (photos below)
Teaser for The Runner, an upcoming documentary about Salah’s life and plight
More information about The Runner - Tourist with a Typewriter.