Photographs: Hiroshima after the bombing

September 17, 2007 at 8:49 am | Posted in Film, Photography | 3 Comments
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I had never seen these photographs before. I watched Hiroshima mon amour 10 years ago (France 1959, directed by Alain Resnais), which made me feel so sick, yet is one of the most remarkable films ever. The very fact that it exists is remarkable. In the meantime I have obviously suppressed the memory. This was a refresher: Somebody called Fogonazos has posted Pictures they didn’t want us to see’. I think it’s worthwhile looking at them again now. Nuclear radiation turns you into charcoal immediately if you happen to stick around ground zero.

[» Link to Photographs].

I admit I also didn’t know about the discrimination of the Hibakusha (“those affected by an explosion”) that Fogonazo reports:

[The Hibakusha] and their children were (and still are) victims of severe discrimination due to lack of knowledge about the consequences of radiation sickness, which people believed to be hereditary or even contagious. Many of them were fired from their jobs. Hibakusha women never got married, as many feared they would give birth to deformed children. Men suffered discrimination too. “Nobody wanted to marry someone who might die in a couple of years”.

Or give a job to such a person.

The comments below the pictures inevitably jump right into the comparison of Hiroshima and 9/11, or rather 75,000 immediate killings (and a double number who died later; plus the victims of Nagasaki) vs. 2974 (plus 25 still missing). I really shouldn’t embark on this discussion yet it makes me sick to the bone that civilized countries develop bombs which they call Little Boy and Fat Man and turn against hundreds of thousands of civilians.

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  1. 9/11 was a publicity stunt relative to Hiroshima. Yes, it was a tragedy, but nothing compared to being nuked.

    When the Americans dropped the atom bomb, they were so pleased with themselves.

    They spent the next 55 years meddling in world politics and building bigger nukes.
    What did they think would happen?
    Sooner or later, someone would reciprocate.
    I saw a documentary/film once in which Chinese schoolchildren quizzed an American schoolteacher regarding Hiroshima. The American seemed quite surprised that the Chinese children would be upset about the tragedy in Japan.

  2. I wonder if there is anything that can be compared to dropping an atomic bomb. I can only think of Napalm, in terms of longevity of the pain effect on the afterlife of the victim.

  3. While we’re at it:

    Philip Jones Griffiths describes its use in Vietnam:
    “ NAPALM. The most effective anti-personnel weapon, it is euphemistically described as “unfamiliar cooking fluid” by those in favor of American military methods–Attributing all napalm cases to domestic accidents caused by the people using gasoline instead of kerosene in their cooking stoves. Kerosene is far too expensive for the peasants, who normally use charcoal for cooking. The only “cooking fluid” they know is very “unfamiliar” – it is delivered through their roofs by U.S. planes.

    Some of its finer selling points were explained to me by a pilot in 1966: “We sure are pleased with those backroom boys at Dow. The original product wasn’t so hot – if the gooks were quick they could scrape it off. So the boys started adding polystyrene – now it sticks like shit to a blanket. But then if the gooks jumped under water it stopped burning, so they started adding Willie Peter (WP – white phosphorus) so’s to make it burn better. It’ll even burn under water now. And just one drop is enough, it’ll keep on burning right down to the bone so they die anyway from phosphorous poisoning.”[4]

    “Napalm is the most terrible pain you can imagine,” said Kim Phuc, a napalm bombing survivor known from a famous Vietnam War photograph. “Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. Napalm generates temperatures of 800 to 1,200 degrees Celsius.”[5]


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