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Hiroshima—the book Author: John Hersey (1914-1993) –American writer; born in Tientsin, China, to missionary parents –Went to Yale; wrote for Time magazine,

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Presentation on theme: "Hiroshima—the book Author: John Hersey (1914-1993) –American writer; born in Tientsin, China, to missionary parents –Went to Yale; wrote for Time magazine,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Hiroshima—the book Author: John Hersey (1914-1993) –American writer; born in Tientsin, China, to missionary parents –Went to Yale; wrote for Time magazine, Life and The New Yorker –Moved to the US when he was 10 –Was a war correspondent during WWII –Won the Pulitzer Prize for A Bell for Adano –Spent 3 weeks in Japan interviewing people for Hiroshima

2 Novel Hiroshima is a documentary about the city –Takes place immediately before and after it was destroyed by an atomic bomb on August 6 th, 1945 –The book follows the experiences of 5 survivors WWII began (for the US) with the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7 th, 1941 –Weaponry advanced throughout the war until nuclear bombs were created in 1945

3 Background Manhattan Project: codename for a project conducted to develop the first atomic bomb, lasted 1939-1946 –Project was led by the US (Einstein’s idea), and the UK and Canada supported –Why? Scientists feared that the Nazis had been working on nuclear weaponry since the early 1930’s –The project took place at over 30 secret testing sites

4 A month after the first nuclear bomb test was completed in the US, two nuclear weapons were exploded over Japan, one at Hiroshima and one at Nagasaki –Why? People thought it was the fastest way to stop the war, thus preventing more deaths Death toll at Hiroshima: –Roughly 70,000-80,000 people died that day; another 70,000 were injured –Within 2-4 months, an additional 130,000 died from the effects of the bombs Death toll at Nagasaki: –40,000-80,000 died immediately –Another 25,000 injured

5 Aftermath Since 1945, a great many more people have died from long-term effects of the bombs The US—among other countries—went on to develop bombs many times more powerful than the ones used on Japan Since the 1950’s, there has existed an amount of weaponry on Earth great enough to destroy all of Earth’s people and progress No atomic weapon has been used in warfare since WWII

6 Effects: –Day of bombing: 60% of casualties died from flash or flame burns 30% died from falling debris 10% other causes –In the following months: 15-20% from radiation sickness 20-30% from flash burns 50-60% from other injuries, combined with illness

7 Hiroshima August 6, 1945

8 “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” After six months of intense firebombing of 67 other Japanese cities, the nuclear weapon "Little Boy" was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945, followed on August 9 by the detonation of the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb over Nagasaki. These are to date the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.

9 Oppenheimer, creator of the nuclear bomb, famously said that witnessing the incredible violence of the initial test recalled to him lines from Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita: "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

10 Commander A.F. Birch (left) is shown numbering the bomb codenamed “Little Boy,” prior to it being loaded onto the B-29 bomber “Enola Gay”. Physicist Dr. Norman Ramsey (right) would later go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The bomb was 10 feet long and weighed 8,900 pounds. However, it only carried 141 pounds of uranium.

11 Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., pilot of the ENOLA GAY, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, waves from his cockpit before the takeoff.

12 Shortly after 8:15 am, August 5, 1945, looking down on the rising smoke from the atomic explosion above the city of Hiroshima. By the time this photo was taken, the flash of light and intense heat from a fireball 1,200 ft diameter had already taken place, and an intense shockwave radiating out faster than the speed of sound was dissipating, having done most of its damage to ground structures and people in a circle 2 miles in diameter.

13 Photos of the aftermath of the bombings were censored by the American occupation forces because they prohibited any thing "that might, directly or by inference, disturb public tranquility." The pictures remained classified 'top secret' for many years. This is the horror they didn't want us to see, and that we must NEVER forget.

14 Hiroshima after the bomb


16 All that remains of a theatre.


18 Bridge across the Ota river, 880 meters from the hypocenter of the bomb burst above Hiroshima. Note where roadway is burned and the ghostly shadow imprints left where the surface was shielded by cement pillars.

19 These are the stone steps of the main entrance of Sumitomo Bank, which is only 250 meters from the hypocenter. It is believed that a person sat down on the steps facing the direction of the hypocenter, possibly waiting for the bank to open. By a flash of the heat rays with temperatures well over a 1,000 degrees or possibly 2,000 degrees centigrade, that person was incinerated on the stone steps.

20 On August 9 th, 1945, at 11:02 am, the US exploded a second atomic bomb, codenamed “Fat Man,” over the city of Nagasaki. This bombing had the third highest fatality rate of WWII, after the Hiroshima and the firebombing raid of Tokyo on March 9-10, 1945. The bombing of Nagasaki

21 “Fat Man”

22 A dense column of smoke rises more than 60,000 feet into the air over the Japanese port of Nagasaki, the result of an atomic bomb, the second ever used in warfare, dropped on the industrial center August 8, 1945, from a U.S. B-29.

23 Firebombing of Tokyo The most destructive bombing raid in history Over 100,000 dead and 1,000,000 injured



26 Flash Burns Thermal (or flash) burns are burns caused by external heat sources, such as fire, steam, tar, hot liquids or hot metals, that raise the temperature of the skin and cause tissue cell death or charring. The devastating impact of the explosion does not stop after the initial blast, as with regular explosives. A cloud of nuclear radiation travels from the epicenter of the explosion, causing an impact to lifeforms even after the heat waves have ceased. The radiation can cause genetic mutation, radiation poisoning, and death.

27 A "shadow" of a hand valve wheel on the painted wall of a gas storage tank after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Radiant heat instantly burned paint where the heat rays were not obstructed, over a mile from ground zero.



30 The burns are in a pattern corresponding to the dark portions of the kimono she was wearing at the time of the explosion.





35 Radiation Poisoning Symptoms appear sooner with higher doses of exposure. The symptoms of radiation sickness become more serious (and the chance of survival decreases) as the dosage of radiation increases. Moderate exposure is associated with nausea and vomiting beginning within 12–24 hours after exposure. In addition to the symptoms of mild exposure, fever, hair loss, infections, bloody vomit and stools, and poor wound healing are seen. Radiation exposure can also increase the probability of developing some other diseases, mainly cancer, tumors, and genetic damage. Symptoms of radiation poisoning include, but are not limited to: Infection, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, blistering, tissue death, intestinal bleeding, sterility in women, spontaneous abortion, hair loss, bleeding gums, and bone marrow deterioration.

36 Radiation Poisoning Severe keloids, or scarring, caused by thermal radiation.


38 A 21-year old soldier suffering from severe radiation poisoning. He died less than one month after the bombs were dropped. This photo was taken two hours before the soldier’s death, at his request.

39 A-Bomb Babies The Japanese call them "pika" children, meaning "children of the flash." They were still in the womb in August 1945 when the atomic bombs that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki sent their mothers reeling. They are the youngest survivors of the atomic bomb -- but 45 years later, they are far from the luckiest. Within a decade of the bombings, scientists had already documented fetal brain injuries and subsequent mental retardation in children born to mothers who were within 2,000 meters of ground zero when the bombs exploded.


41 Surrender Japan surrendered to the Allies on August 14, 1945. The next day, Emperor Hirohito, in a dramatic break with tradition, took to the radio for the first time to announce defeat. Speaking in formalized phrases, he urged his subjects to “endure the unendurable and bear the unbearable.” The enemy had “for the first time used cruel bombs to kill and maim…and the heavy casualties are beyond measure.”

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