After a good night’s sleep we took the local bus to our planned visit for the day. The Peace Memorial Park and it’s museum. The museum of course describes in detail all to well the horrors that were consequences of the terrible dropping of the world’s first A-bomb, 08.15 the 6th August 1945 by the bomber Enola gay. I am not the most sensitive guy but I have a hard time writing this afterwards (it’s actually tuesday morning and I’m on a train while I’m writing this) because of the frustration, sadness and sheer sense of sorrow I’m feeling.
The museum and everything around this does not focus only in self-pity but is actively trying to prevent development (and of course use) of such weapons of mass destruction. According to Wikipedia the information about Japan’s actions prior to the bombing where put there after some complaints from other countries. You can say in rather light terms that Japan was no saint either, e.g. quite a few chinese citizens were killed when Japan captured Nanjing.
What is perhaps the most disturbing thing about all these events are the reason for why the bomb was dropped at Hiroshima at that dreadful day. I thought US perhaps had the decency not to drop it on Tokyo since the amount of civilians as well as Hiroshima being sort of a military training ground and headquarters for Japan. I was wrong, Tokyo was indeed suggested but the damage would be greater in Hiroshima and effects could more easily be observed there. The reason for not bombing Germany was that they might be possible to salvage the bomb and use it in their own research.
That was for the choice of where to drop the bomb. The choice of dropping it was that it would put an end to the war and therefore being able to stand up against criticism of it’s huge development cost. The fact that Soviet would end the war was known but US didn’t want Soviet to gain that much influence after the war. Better to write the play so that US make the deathblow. It makes me sick that see these documents between leaders of the world at that time describing how to best make use of their investments and how to avoid (extremely well deserved) public criticism.
Ulf and me didn’t joke as much we usually do and I guess we both were contemplating the problems with this world. Since we are both reading the same book now, End of Faith, by Sam Harris the problems with religious beliefs combined with todays weapons (H-bombs are about 3000 more ‘effective’ than the bomb dropped over Hiroshima) we discussed a few pointers from the book. In addition to the current events in Israel and Lebanon the future don’t look that bright. There was was also a quite depressing clock that showed two meters, one for days after Hiroshima and one for days after the last nuclear weapon test. The latter number was 171 days.
The were also official letters of protest sent from succeeding mayors of Hiroshima to each government responsible for such a test. There were way to many of those letters in the museum to be found. Sometimes I doubt that mankind deserves to survive but I guess we always need to struggle for peace.