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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Makoto Santo (male)
'Chokubaku'  1.8 km from the hypocenter / 24 years old at the time / current resident of Hyogo

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. It was a day when I escaped death by a miracle―the miracle of all miracles―after the A-bombing of August 6, 1945. I spent all day that day taking part in relief work dubbed "great activities" for injured persons, including both fellow soldiers and citizens, on the premises of the then Second General Army Headquarters. There, I witnessed the extreme misery of people whose human dignity had been completely denied, even though it was a scene in wartime. From that experience, my body and soul trembled with a fit of anger because I felt indescribably deep resentment against those who had used a weapon causing such a tragic end, whatever the reason. My feeling of that day and that moment will never disappear from my mind the rest of my life. I can definitely say so even now.

War probably won't disappear from the earth or human society. It might occur on a large scale someday somewhere in the world. However, nuclear weapons should never be used, under any circumstances. If we act in a way to blaspheme against God, I think we should consider that a day will come when the earth as well as the human race would be destroyed by the hand of God. It is my strong belief that we should never allow such a situation where nuclear and non-nuclear countries exist side by side in this world. Things like nuclear weapons must be expelled from the human race and eliminated from the earth by all means possible.

Writing this note rekindles my eagerness to tell many of those who don't know the horror of nuclear weapons how strongly I desire for the abolition of these weapons, filled with an eagerness that has been inscribed deeply in my body since the time I saw an extremely shocking, horrible scene like hell on the premises of the army headquarters. (At that time, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was perceived as a powerful special bomb).
The voices of dying people's painful cries in their last moments, groaning painfully, "Soldier, please give me water!" still seem to resound in my mind, coming back from the land of the dead, on such occasions as this. But they are usually out of my mind.