Saturday, August 6, 2005

At 8:15am Japanese time, on August 6, 1945...exactly 60 years ago today...a bomb called Little Boy found its mark in a city called Hiroshima......three days later on August 9th...Nagasaki was treated to the same fate...
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"Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."
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It took an instant for 200,000 people to be incinerated...then it took hours, days, weeks and months for burnt flapping flesh to peel and boil over and fill the nightmares of the survivors...it took years for them to sicken and then die....and it has taken since the begining of time for everyone else to try to try fathom man's inhumanity to fellow man...
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"I am Constantly amazed by man's inhumanity to man"
Primo Levi
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This watch stopped at exactly the moment Hiroshima was obliterated
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"The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."
Einstein (Discovered atomic theory)
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When the news of the Hiroshima bombing reached Los Alamos, the scientists rejoiced. Some raced to the telephone and booked tables at La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe. Others stayed at Los Alamos and celebrated. They substituted dynamite for fireworks and snaked through the streets banging garbage-can lids. "Everybody had parties, we all ran around. I sat on the end of a jeep and beat drums and so on," recalled Richard Feynman, a math wizard and future Nobel laureate.
Quoted from The Plutonium Files, an amazing book by Eileen Welsome which chronicles the story of the bomb and also the secret experiments carried out on unsuspecting civilians..like injecting radioactive substances into pregnant women and telling them they were vitamins...only to have the children develop violent forms of cancer...pick up the book and you won't be able to put it down...the writing is magic and the story savage to the extreme..Welsome's reporting on these facts got her the Pulitzer prize..
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I saw an exhibition called none other than Little Boy, of Japanese art organised by the Japan Society in NYC... it included Godzilla and other apocalyptic artistic visions that were born of the horror of the atomic age...
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Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St Paul
Give me Christ
or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby:
it is murder.
Leonard Cohen


On this day it is common to see Peace Cranes made of folded paper...this tradition comes from the story of a young girl called Sadako Sasaki who was two years old when Hiroshima was hit...at the age of 11 she developed Leaukemia...her friend told her that there was a Japanese legend that said that anyone who made 1,000 paper cranes would have their wish granted...she died at the age of 12 having folded over 1,000 cranes...since then the cranes have been a symbol of peace, and a reminder of the senseless destruction of war...
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" This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."

Where to look:
A haunting site with photographs taken the day after Nagasaki...put together for the 50th anniversary of the attack..
Hiroshima Mon Amour...the screenplay by Marguerite Duras and the film by Alain Resnais...haunting tale of the experience of war and the healing power of human relationships..
Hiroshima: Was it necessary- A site that deals with the idea of its necessity...and tears it apart.
The Day After- An 80's film that gave me nightmares and had me spend sleepless nights calculating how to get everyone in my house to safety and how we were going to survive in a shelter...we had to watch it when we were in junior high school here...
Recent Articles:
The myths of Hiroshima L.A. Times
Hiroshima health effects linger BBC
The Hiroshima Cover-Up Mother Jones Magazine
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"As the bomb fell over Hiroshima and exploded, we saw an entire city disappear. I wrote in my log the words: 'My God, what have we done?'"

Capt Robert Lewis (Co-Pilot of the Enola Gay that dropped Little boy)

4 comments:

Q said...

Wow, really powerful stuff kwtia!! I loved the quotes...

How different would things have been if the media and internet had as much power then as it does now bcz of globalization??

kwtia said...

Hi Q, I don't know if it would have made any diffrence...we still have wars and cover-ups and people in power that no one wanted there...I don't know when we will ever change..do i sound a bit hopeless? It will pass, and the hope will go on.

Valiant Contender said...

I would guess many people assume that there is no going back, and most of it is true. You can't go back to what happened and erase it, and neither can we uninvent the atom bomb. We can do a lot, by creating harmony which has diminished and still is.

kwtia said...

Harmony sounds nice...