Attacking The Devil: Harold Evans And The Last Nazi War Crime (12A)
by David Morris and Jacqui Morris
22nd March 2016
This documentary about the hundreds of children severely disabled by
the use of the pill Thalidomide, to supposedly combat morning-sickness
by their mothers, in the 1950s and early '60s was startling to watch.
Many of the victims were born without either arms of legs, or all four
limbs. The most chilling comment was when a spokesman from the Thalidomide
Trust stated that on numerous occasions babies, as soon as they were born
with these disabilities, were taken away from their mother by nursing
staff in hospitals and either suffocated or left naked in a cold room
where they died. They informed the mothers that they had died naturally.
In other words personnel of the NHS had cold-heartedly committed murder
of children less than a day old.
The Sunday Times editor Harold Evans, who had joined that paper from
the North-East based Northern Echo, doggedly led, and finally won, the
campaign against the UK company Distillers, who had patented and sold
the drug, along with his Insight team of reporters, for over ten years,
wanting a minimum of £20 million compensation for the children blighted
He refused to back down in his pursuit of the manufacturers of this lethal
drug even when the legal establishment, a major part of 'The System',
threatened to bring an injunction against his paper, and also the likely
possibility of him being imprisoned for contempt of court.
The reference to the last Nazi war crime in the documentary title stems
from the fact that Thalidomide was first developed by a German pharmaceutical
company called Grunenthal during WWII. It was originally tested on concentration
NERVE supports workers struggling for a living wage.