The Atomic Bomb: Voices from Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Atomic Bomb: Voices from Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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The Atomic Bomb: Voices from Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Atomic Bomb: Voices from Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Read

FREE for a limited time

Synopsis

This collection of factual reports, short stories, poems and drawings expresses in a deeply personal voice the devastating effects of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Excerpt

Robert Jay Lifton

During a recent, early fall visit to Hiroshima, I walked through the Peace Park and found it to be a very gentle place. Couples strolled leisurely, young mothers and fathers pushed baby carriages, children ran about, and there was much feeding of pigeons. To be sure, some people stopped at the Cenotaph to leave flowers and pray, and one had only to enter the Atomic Bomb Museum to be jarred into grotesque nuclear truth. But in the park itself, there was indeed peace, and the atmosphere could be said to have been pastoral, even bucolic.

While experiencing, like others, the pleasantness of the scene, I felt myself to be a bit troubled by it. Was that the way to memorialize the atomic bomb and its victims? The problem is that the atomic bomb defies memorialization. There is no adequate way of representing an event of that magnitude to future generations. Perhaps the Peace Park, including the museum and its many monuments, does so as well as could be expected.

The world is insufficiently aware of the terrible value of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the two cities in which atomic weapons have been used on human populations, they alone can convey to us certain human truths. These truths serve us well, even though we are aware of how "tiny" the explosive power of the weapon used on each city is in comparison to our present nuclear stockpiles. And that value is . . .

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