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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Susumu Hamaguchi (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / 18 years old at the time / current resident of Hiroshima

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. 1. Things I still can't forget
So many stiff, naked bodies were floating on the river that I could hardly see the water. The currents made them drift upstream and downstream. During the low tide hours lots of bodies got stuck in the nets stretched between the piers of the bridge and piled up on top of each other.

The West Drill Grounds in Moto-machi, where the prefectural office buildings are situated now, was scattered with thousands of bodies of newly drafted conscripts. They looked like dried sardines. Their mouths and noses, facing up, were exhausting methane gas and making sounds like "plon, plon." Many of the bodies had their internal organs ripped open. Their large intestines, exposed and swollen with gas, looked like balloons.

2. My feelings towards the victims of the atomic bomb
The horrible and sickening scene in the wake of the atomic bomb is beyond proper description. It seemed to reveal what hell is like. I can't help feeling angry that many men and women of all ages, most of whom were just civilians, not soldiers, were killed. What I feel toward those victims can't be expressed by such ordinary terms as "mourning" or "condolences." It is far beyond these words. This deep feeling of grief has always been with me and will never disappear for as long as I live.

3. What I would like to tell the younger generation
My understanding is that the Manhattan Project started when Dr. Einstein and other scholars suggested to President Roosevelt that the U.S. should build an atomic bomb quickly, on the grounds that Germany had already set their sights on it. It is also said that some Japanese institutions and universities, too, had undertaken research on the atomic bomb under the leadership of Dr. Nishina. I think, however, they would have been unable to complete the project because of our poor industrial resources at that time, even if they had succeeded in grasping how to produce the A-bomb on a theoretical basis. (At the onset of the war, Japan's iron and steel production was only six million tons compared to 120 million tons in the U.S.) I believe it is important for the younger generation to know that there were also some institutions in Japan, conducting research into the atomic bomb. It is also necessary to keep in mind that the hydrogen bomb of today is 2000 to 4000 times more destructive than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and that all the living things on earth would be extinct if there were a war in which hydrogen bombs were used.

I think we should also recognize the atrocities the Japanese army carried out in various places in China.