The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed about 250.000 people and became the most dreadful slaughter of civilians in modern history. However, for many years there was a curious gap in the photographic records. Although the names of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were incised into our memories, there were few pictures toaccompany them. Even today, the image in our minds is a mixture of devastated landscapes and shattered buildings. Shocking images of theruins, but where were the victims?
The American occupation forces imposed strict censorship on Japan, prohibiting anything “that might, directly or by inference, disturbpublic tranquility” and used it to prohibit all pictures of the bombedcities. The pictures remained classified ‘top secret’ for many years.Some of the images have been published later by different means, but it’s not usual to see them all together. This is the horror they didn’twant us to see, and that we must NEVER forget:
All the watches found in the ground zero were stopped at 8:15 am, the time of the explosion.
With in a certain distance from the site of explosion, the heat was sointense that practically everything was vaporised. The shadows of theparapets were imprinted on the road surface of the Yorozuyo Bridge, 1/2of a mile south-southwest of the hypocenter. Besides, in Hiroshima, all that was left of some humans, sitting on stone benches near the centreof explosion, was their outlines.
The photograph bellow shows the stone steps of a Bank where a person was incinerated by the heat rays.
2. The massacre
On August 6, 1945, 8.15 am, the uranium atom bomb exploded 580 metres above the city of Hiroshima with a blinding flash, creating a giant fireball and sending surface temperatures to 4,000C. Fierce heat raysand radiation burst out in every direction, unleashing a high pressureshock wave, vaporising tens of thousands of people and animals, melting buildings and streetcars, reducing a 400-year-old city to dust.
Housewive sand children were incinerated instantly or paralysed in their daily routines, their internal organs boiled and their bones charred intobrittle charcoal.
Beneath the center of the explosion, temperatures were hot enough to meltconcrete and steel. With in seconds, 75,000 people had been killed or fatally injured with 65% of the casualties nine years of age andyounger.
Radiation deaths were still occurring in large numbers in the following days.”For no apparent reason their health began to fail. They lost appetite. Their hair fell out. Bluish spots appeared on their bodies. And thenbleeding began from the ears, nose and mouth”.
Doctors “gave their patients Vitamin A injections. The results were horrible. The flesh started rotting from the hole caused by the injection of theneedle. And in every case the victim died”.
e Japanese word translatesliterally to “explosion-affected people”.
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