World War II atomic bomb survivors - Stories, horror and the aftermath.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
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Hiroshima Maidens: a group of schoolgirls who survived the atomic blast and underwent reconstruction surgery in the US
In Japan, the word 'hibakusha' describes the people who survived the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The word is translated as 'explosion-affected people'. Among the people who survived the explosion, was a group of 30 schoolgirls, known as the 'Hiroshima Maidens'. After the blast, the girls were severely injured; their faces were scarred by the burns and their limbs were so damaged that they never healed. In the early 1950's, hibakusha had numerous problems, as they were perceived as contagious and dangerous to their surroundings. The schoolgirls who survived the blast were growing up and couldn't find partners or work, so they decided to undergo reconstructive surgeries.
Norwegian agent Joachim Roenneberg who sabotaged Nazi atomic program honoured in London
A Norwegian resistance fighter who led a raid to sabotage Nazi Germany's atomic bomb program has been honoured at a London ceremony. Joachim Roenneberg led a 6-man team for Operation Gunnerside, an attack on the Norsk Hydro heavy water production plant in Vermok, Norway. The operation, in early 1943, destroyed the plant's supplies of heavy water, which the Nazis hoped to use to produce nuclear weapons. An earlier unsuccessful raid involving British paratroopers resulted in heavy casualties when the gliders carrying the men crashed and the survivors were captured, tortured and executed by the Gestapo. The Operation Gunnerside raid was dramatised in the Franco-Norwegian film Operation Swallow: The Battle for Heavy Water in 1948, and the later US movie The Heroes of Telemark, starring Kirk Douglas.
E-book includes 37 essays written by victims of the atomic bombings
An Osaka-based publishing house has released a digital book containing English translations of accounts written by survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki about their experiences. The e-book, called "No more Hiroshima Nagasaki", comprises a collection of 37 essays written by victims of the atomic bombings in the final days of the Second World War.
Scottish survivor of Nagasaki defends use of atom bombs - The 65th anniversary of Hiroshima
A Scottish atom bomb survivor defends the decision to drop the bombs. Alistair Urquhart laboured on the "Death Railway" as a POW in Thailand, survived a torpedo attack on a Japanese "hellship" and the atomic bomb blast at Nagasaki. For 60 years, he remained silent about the horrors he experienced at the hands of the Japanese army. But his WW2 memoir - "The Forgotten Highlander" - has become a UK best-seller. "There had been an order made that in the event of an invasion of the Japanese mainland, all of us prisoners would have been massacred... I was at a POW camp 11 miles from Nagasaki when the bomb was dropped."
Hibakusha, Our Life to Live: Film about the lasting effects of the atomic bombings
David Rothauser's documentary film - "Hibakusha, Our Life to Live" - explores the lasting effects of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. The film tells the stories of Japanese, Korean and American hibakusha (survivors) of the atomic bombings. Survivors' stories are interwoven with the relationship between Eiji Nakanishi, the youngest survivor of Hiroshima, and his friend, Yoko, an 8-year-old girl he teaches to play guitar. "The younger generation knows next to nothing about the atomic bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This type of film I was hoping would generate an interest in them..."
Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the last survivor of both WWII atomic bombs, passes away at 93
The only official survivor of both the atomic bombs to hit Japan in World War II has passed away. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was on a business trip in Hiroshima when the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945. He was getting off a streetcar when the "Little Boy" bomb exploded above Hiroshima. Yamaguchi was less than 2 miles away from ground zero. His eardrums were ruptured and his upper torso burned. Yamaguchi spent the night in a Hiroshima bomb shelter and returned to his hometown of Nagasaki the next day. The second bomb - "Fat Man" - was dropped on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, killing 70,000 people there.
Japanese man certified as double Atomic-bomb victim from Nagasaki and Hiroshima
A Japanese man has become the first person certified as a survivor of both American atomic bombings at the end of World War Two. Tsutomu Yamaguchi had already been a "hibakusha," or radiation survivor, of the Aug. 9, 1945, atomic bombing in Nagasaki, but has now been confirmed as surviving the attack on Hiroshima 3 days earlier as well. Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered severe urns and spent the night in the city. He then travelled back to Nagasaki just in time for the second atomic bomb attack.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors suffer from thyroid cancer
Radiation from the atomic bomb blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 likely rearranged chromosomes in some survivors who later got papillary thyroid cancer, report Japanese researchers of the Department of Radiobiology and Molecular Epidemiology at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) in Hiroshima. Subjects who lived near the blast sites, were comparably young at the time, and developed the it rapidly once they reached adulthood, were likely to have a chromosomal rearrangement known as RET/PTC that is not very common in adults who develop the disease.
Standing 850 meters away when the a-bomb Fat Man razed Nagasaki
13yo Katsuji Yoshida was standing 850 meters away from ground zero when the atomic bomb Fat Man razed Nagasaki, Japan in 1945. He sustained extensive injuries but lived to tell his story. On Aug. 9, 1945, Yoshida was with his schoolmates when the bomb hit. He was thrown off his feet, and the explosion tore off his right ear, stripping his skin off and revealing the muscles and blood vessels. He was caked in dirt. Together he and his friends walked to the river to clean their bodies. There was no comfort to be found: Yoshida saw people drinking the river water and then dying. Scared by this sight Yoshida and his friends fled without water.
Kaz Suyeishi survived A-bomb: 'It should never happen again'
More than 60 years after an atomic bomb leveled Hiroshima, Kaz Suyeishi can still hear the cries of the kindergartners. The terrified 5- and 6-year-olds were being comforted by teacher, her own face burned from the blast. The next day they were all dead from the new bomb. As parts of the world appear to be lurching again toward nuclear armament, Suyeishi is disappointed. She has spent her life speaking out against what she terms "nothing but misery, stupidity." "I don't say who started the war, who dropped the bomb. It should never happen again," said Suyeishi, president of the American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-bomb Survivors.
U.S. filmmaker shows a Japan that has forgotten its A-bomb survivors
Japan "clearly wants to move forward without looking back" once all the atomic bomb survivors are gone, the director of a documentary film on the hibakusha (victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) said. Steven Okazaki was speaking at a screening of his film "White Light/Black Rain," alongside a hibakusha and a crew member of the Enola Gay. "People should worry about the direction Japan is taking," he said, when asked about Tokyo's treatment of Japan's militaristic past and its victims. Okazaki's documentary differs from previous works on the hibakusha by covering not just the blast but also how the Japan neglected the survivors.