August 6th 1945
To those who have not read Robert Jungk's vital depiction of the results of the
Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima in 1945.
I had just finished reading excerpts from Robert Jungk's Children of the Ashes when I picked up an important newspaper telling of the Manhattan Project and its effects. It gives great detail of the events and people involved and I must say it is serious reading material.
After speaking to many a soldier who fought in the Far Eastern Campaigns, I can tell you the conclusion of the war by Atomic attack was greeted with some enthusiasm, if not relief of the open possibility of staying alive and going home sooner.
This brings me to Jungk's descriptions that truly rented my heart. This did not change my mind in its use, after listening to first hand Japanese prisoner accounts and reading The Other Nuremberg, only a hope that we are spared further demonstrations of the handy work of the Homo Sapiens.
He writes: -
There are desert of sand, deserts of stone, deserts of ice. But since August 1945 Hiroshima-or more exactly the spot where Hiroshima once stood - has constituted a new, peculiar, and original sort of wilderness. The atomic desert, the handy work of the homo sapiens, and beneath its grey-black surface there still remains the traces of his activity and the painful remnants of his fellow men.
Apart from the shadows of living creatures and of the objects turned to charcoal by the heat of the atomic flash, one professor also collected hundreds of other specimens-materials which had not been destroyed, but only transmuted or changed in the huge blast furnace that had been the explosion. These included weird coloured earthenware tiles, bottles twisted into extraordinary shapes, singed fragments of cloth, and an ever increasing quantity of stones.
And what stones! Stones such as existed nowhere else on earth. In the uniquely high temperature produced by the atomic bomb began to 'weep' or to bleed.
This was clearly apparent when one of these stones was dissected. The deep black centre remained intact, but part of its core had forced its way through the light grey surface to emerge as boils or sores. It was as if the very stones has contracted mange or leprosy.
The above was published by Heinemann. I have done my best to type this,
but I am not an expert only an admirer of a great writer of past events.