tv Hiroshima Nagasaki and End of World War II CSPAN August 6, 2020 8:00pm-10:05pm EDT
a short time ago, an american airplane dropped a bomb on hiroshima and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. that bomb has more power than 20,000 tons of tnt. the japanese began the war from the air and pearl harbor. they have been repaid many fold. and the end is not yet. with this bomb, we have now added a new and revolutionary increase in destruction to
supplement the growing power of our armed forces. in their present form, these bombs are now in production and even more powerful bombs are in development. it is an atomic bomb. it is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. the force from which the sun draws its power has been let loose by those who brought power to the far. east we are now preparing to destroy more completely every preventive enterprise the japanese have in any city. we shall destroy their factories and their communications. let there be no mistake we shall completely destroyed japan's power to make war. it will spare the japanese people from other destruction that the ultimatum of july 26th
was issued. their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum. if they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a reign of glory from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth. behind this arrow tank will follow sea and land forces in such numbers and power as they have not yet seen, and with the fighting skill of which they are already well aware. >> even toll is an author and independent scholar of pacific war history and he is set to release his latest publication twilight of the gods, war in the western pacific, 1944 to 1944. he, and welcome to washington on this anniversary. >> thank you. >> we have heard from the former president harry truman after the hiroshima bombing. from your research and your
study of the war and the bombings in particular, why did harry truman do it? >> i think the decision to use the bomb was really implicit in the manhattan project. it was really assumed from the time, before the time that truman came to office and april after the death of fdr that this weapon, if it worked, that it would be used. so it may be more accurate to say that there was a non-decision, essentially. truman did not decide to intervene, to stop a project that was very much in trained when he came into the office. the decision was made that we built the bomb. if we had, it we would use it. and i think the perspective we
have now that the atomic bomb is different, essentially different, from conventional weapons, that is something that we have with hindsight. for truman and his advisers in the summer of 1945, i don't think that was clear to them that the atomic bomb was fundamentally different from conventional bombings and we had already essentially wiped out an enormous percentage of japan's urban areas with conventional bombing and raids. so using the atomic bomb in their view at that time did not seem like a break or a departure from what they have been doing already. >> is it true that harry truman when he assumed the presidency in april 1945 that he did not know anything about the manhattan project.
and how did he learn about it in the space of less than four short months? how did he become confident in the decision to use these weapons. >> yes, it is true. he was not briefed on the manhattan project. he had been vaguely aware that there was a very large, very secret, very expensive project underway. in the senate before he was put on the ticket in 1944, the most important thing he had done in the senate, the thing that really made his name, was that he chaired a committee which investigated corruption and waste in the munitions industry. this was the truman committee. and in his capacity as chairman of that investigative senate committee, he had learned about these enormous plants that were being built in tennessee and in washington state. and he had inquired and begun to use his investigative resources to try and determine
what exactly was happening. and secretary henry stamps, and the secretary of war, essentially went to truman and said we are doing something really important. and it is very secret and we are going to ask you not to inquire any further. and sherman agreed. so when he very suddenly, with fdr's, death was elevated to the presidency, he was briefed on simpson and also by james burns, who was the war mobilization czar, subsequently appointed secretary of state. and he was fully briefed within 24 hours of assuming the presidency on the state of the manhattan project. >> it's the 75th anniversary of the bombing of hiroshima. we are talking about it with the intel whose brand new book is coming out in september, twilight of the gods, war in the western pacific 1944 to 1945, the mines as they were last hour for the eastern and central time zone --
>> for those of you who are world war ii that's or family we there is another phone number. and our line for japanese americans exists as well. ian toll, one of the questions that came up a couple times in the last hour was why didn't the u.s. do some sort of demonstration of the bomb to show the japanese its power, instead of actually using it on a city? >> i think that that is a hard question. in my view, the really hard question is when it comes to the atomic bomb and not should we have used it. given the circumstances in the summer of 1945, the urgent need to end the war and to end it quickly without an invasion. in those circumstances, using the bomb i think was defensible. dropping it on a city is a
different question. and i think i'm in a minority among military historians in this feeling. this is really a preference that i have that i would have liked to see the weapon used against a military target. the question of a demonstration has also been raised. there's arguments against a demonstration. number one, it might have backfired. if you had announced you're going to demonstrate the bomb and it hadn't worked, which was a real possibility, that would potentially double the japanese determination to resist. i do think there would be a way to demonstrate the bomb without running into that problem, dropping it very high in the atmosphere, off the coast of tokyo. that would have made an enormous flash. it would have sent a message to the japanese. i don't think that would have prompted a rapid surrender. so the reason that you might have done that really is
abstract. it is an abstract reason. you do it because in the long run it may enhance the countries moral standing. i do think that is important. but you have had some callers who have fathers or grandfathers who are in the war. for american veterans, particularly those who would have participated in the invasion of japan, the atomic bomb has never been an abstraction for them. it is something real. it is something they believe saved their lives. and that belief is something that i think we need to acknowledge and respect. so that is essentially where i come out. looking back, i would have liked to see the bomb use differently. in particular, not dropped on a city. the first one dropped on a military target. i think that would have been more defensible. >> was there any military or military related targets in either of those cities?
>> yes. hiroshima had a really important regional military headquarters, the second army was headquartered in hiroshima. he russia had been an army town going back to the preinvasion days of the samurai. and so there was an important military targets in hiroshima. the city was not chosen for that reason. none of the four cities on the target list for the atomic bomb, hiroshima, nagasaki, near gotta which is on the sea of japan, and co-kara which is on the very northern tip, none of those cities had been chosen because of their military character and the military installations that were in those cities were not specified as the aiming points for the bombs. the cities were chosen because they had been relatively unscathed by conventional bombing raids.
and the idea was that you wanted to drop the bomb on a city that would have the topography and conditions that would provide the greatest demonstration of the bombs power. >> finish your thought. >> it is true that if there was an important army base in hiroshima. in the clip that you played by president truman, upon announcing the atomic bomb he said we had an important japanese army base. here is shame a was a large city, the seventh largest in japan. and so i think just from the point of view of looking back with 75 years of perspective, in that situation, you would prefer the president of the united states look into the eye of the camera and tell the world exactly what we had done without mincing words, using that kind of circumlocution.
>> was there a third bomb ready to be dropped in case the japanese did not surrender? >> the third bomb would have become available by the end of august. on august six, we hit hiroshima. august 9th we hit nagasaki. we did not have a third bomb at that point. it would have been another two or three weeks. >> ian toll is our guest. first up calling is charles in richmond, virginia. >> good morning. it is very interesting when you hear of those questions of dropping the bomb. the war was so passive against japan. they had pulled a sneak attack on pearl harbor. but japan didn't do that. what happened when the bomb
became available, truman knew about it. all he knew is he had just become president and they didn't really like him. and they put it to him and said this is a bomb. you can't drop out atomic bomb and then say let's drop it tomorrow, next week. they already had plans and everything was planned for the bomb. and it didn't make much of a difference with truman had to say because it was going to work and the united states was going to drop the bomb. >> do you think the president had a say in that? >> absolutely. the constitution confers a norma's powers, virtually unlimited power as commander in chief in wartime. truman had the power to simply tell his cabinet and his
military leaders we will use the bomb, we won't use the bomb, we are going to use the bomb in the following way. so i don't think there's any question that he had the power to make the decision. i do think that it's true that the motive of revenge was in the mix there. i wouldn't say that was the reason that we use the weapon the way that we did, but it certainly did set the context. it's nick attack on pearl harbor, atrocities, prisoners of war, those were all factors that played into the decision to use the atomic bomb and also to burn down japanese cities with incendiary bombing raids. truman certainly could have simply decided. he wouldn't have had to ask for permission or take a vote on. it he could have simply said we
are not going to hit a city, or we are going to explicitly warned the japanese that we have this weapon. in his private diary, on july 25th, there was a strange injury where he actually says i have instructed secretary stems, in the secretary of war, to use this weapon against military targets and not against women and children and i have also instructed him that we will make an explicit warning to the japanese telling them to surrender. that's odd because he didn't give that order. but in his diary he seems to have believed it or perhaps he wanted to have future historians believe that the whole decision had been made differently. but certainly, he had the power. one of the fascinating counter factual questions is if fdr had lived how would have fdr have decided to use the bomb. he certainly wouldn't have been
hesitating to make his own decision. he was accustomed to doing that. >> let's hear from anthony in north creek, new york. >> good morning. i am calling for my father and his two brothers. my father went into the army in february of 1941. he fought in the philippines. he fought in here it jima and he was also in okinawa. he was also in the occupation in japan. he came home sometime in late 1946. but we never really found out why. he never really talked about the war until he got older. and he was against them dropping the bomb. but he says if we were to have a fight, i probably would have not come home. it was a flip of a coin and if i had to make that decision, i would say yes.
brothers one was in normandy and my other uncle was also a medic. so those people from that generation, they fought hard for our country. and when i talk about my father and his brothers i am very proud because that is something today maybe we wouldn't be able to do. >> part of the planned invasion of japan is that figure of a predicted anticipated 1 million u.s. military casualties fairly accurate in terms of your research as well. >> no. if the question is at the time we are planning operation downfall, operational limp it was the first stage of downfall, the invasion of a southern island of japan. at the time arbitrary leaders were planning that operation there was never a point at which they were projecting
casualties on the order of 1 million. there has been quite a lot of work done on this because historians and researchers often hear that figure that we might have lost this many people are that many. the answer seems to be that the casualty projections were significantly lower than that. and it's a disputed point and there were different casualty figures and ways of thinking about it. but at no point in our military leaders while planning that operation expect something on the order of 1 million casualties. the projections were much lower. maybe as many as 200 total casualties. that doesn't really tell us much about the atomic bomb decision. you can't say casualties would have been lower so we should have invaded. i think invading would have been a disaster regardless of what kind of casualties you would have taken.
and so avoiding a bloody invasion of japan was absolutely essential and that's why i think using the atomic bomb was inevitable. as i say, using it against a city is a different question. i don't think we should have dropped it on a city. we should have avoided that. that's just my preference, my belief. but as the caller mentioned, there are so many people in this country who have fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, on culls, who are veterans of that war and you really believe that their lives were on the line. and that is something that i respect very deeply. it's interesting that the caller said, i think it was his father, had been in japan with the occupation after the war and his personal belief had been that we should not have dropped the atomic bomb. one last comment. one of the really interesting phenomenon when you look at veterans of the pacific war is
that those who were in japan after the war, but the occupying forces, they tended to have a much more kind of nuanced view of the japanese. in fact, many of them came to like the japanese generally as a people. and they were more ready to make a distinction between the way japanese fighting forces had behaved during the war and the way that the japanese people are in general. they were more willing to make that distinction because of the personal exposure they had had to japan and to the japanese in the nation of japan after the war. >> the line for japanese americans in los angeles, scott. >> good morning. i am half japanese and my father was drafted in world war ii. my grandfather was drafted by the japanese army has fought in manchuria. i keep seeing every year, they
talk about pearl harbor. the american was attacked unprovoked, which is not true. truman said on that clip that japan bombed pearl harbor unprovoked. that's not true. because the flying tigers were flying under the eight w. g under secret order of the president. and until 1996 where reagan or clinton acknowledged the flying tigers were part of the military so they could get va benefits, then it shifted a w. gee was under military guidance. so i keep hearing of this japanese unprovoked attack, but that's not true. i'm not saying that the war was not a bad thing because it was a very terrible thing what japan did to china and russia and the philippines, they were
terrible things. >> we will get a response from our guest, in toll. >> i think that the count against the japanese for the way they began the war was not so much that it was an unprovoked attack. but that there was no formal declaration of war prior to the attack. there is the idea of a sneak attack, a surprise attack that really infuriated americans. the attack had been planned under cover of diplomatic talks. we were engaged in negotiations directly with the japanese government to try to adjust the differences that we had in the pacific. and that attack suddenly descended on pearl harbor without a declaration of war.
so i think that played into the particular brutality of the pacific war. scott didn't say what his father did when he was drafted. one of the most interesting stories about the role of japanese americans who worked as interpreters or language officers who helped develop propaganda messages to aim at the japanese. that was an essential role in places like okinawa. the heroism of the japanese american soldiers who went down to the caves and negotiated directly with japanese forces trying to encourage them to surrender had enormous personal risk. that's one of the great stories about the pacific war that's not as familiar to people. >> to jean and maryland, good morning. >> i was 12 years old when we
declared war on the japanese. i was the youngest of five children. my three brothers and sister were all in active duty in the military. two reasons, we laughed truman's decision. my two brothers at the time just before the invasion were in combat. two of them were combat men in the navy. one was in the navy. i will never forget how my mother was absolutely terrified every time the telephone rang for about the last four months of the war. a second reason and this one is more personal, this i cannot forget about the japanese. i'm sorry but the way they treated prisoners. my sister was a naval nurse at
chelsea naval hospital. she wanted to stay in the navy but she wanted to get married in october 1941. as a naval officer, she was not allowed to stay in the navy. so she had to leave the navy and get married. the dying girls, i used to visit them and they would play tennis and they were full of life and wonderful young ladies the nine of them. they were caught in the death march and after the war, my sister called the supervisor to see what happened and seven died and two were quote strapped on sane. they didn't have medicine for people. we were for truman's decision. but there is one other fact. this one i almost never hear mentioned. i think it may be true.
the people killed in the hiroshima bomb were not all japanese. i believe there are more than 20,000 korean slave workers. and i believe it's also true that it nagasaki. is that true? tens of thousands of slave workers were killed in this bombing and it's never mentioned? >> yes it is true. it is true. i don't know if it's 20, 000, but that sounds like it might be about the right number of koreans who are working in hiroshima. and enormous number of koreans and to a lesser extent chinese were killed in the atomic bombings as well as in the conventional bombing raids. there are also westerners in japan.
there were about 1% of the population of japan during the second world war had been christians or were christians. some of them were secretly christians. so christiana de actually had a foothold in japan that went back several centuries because of jesuit missionaries coming from portugal and spain. and some of the most compelling eyewitness accounts of the bombing of hiroshima are by jesuit catholic priests who were european or a german. so these cities were international to the extent that there were foreigners living in japan that tended to be living in the large cities. so, yes they were affected in both of the atomic bombings. >> were there any american p.o.w. is an either city? >> yes. there were american p.o.w.'s in the area of both hiroshima and
nagasaki. and a number of personal accounts came out after the war about having witnessed the bombings. i believe there is even p.o.w.'s who believed that they had heard or seen a flash for both hiroshima and nagasaki, which gives you some idea of how far away there was possible to see and hear these explosions. >> next up is frank in lexington, north carolina. good morning. >> good morning. thank you for letting me talk. i have a new testament that my father carried in his service as a navy corps men attached to the marine corps. i would just like to share this about the aftermath of the dropping of the bomb. japan, september 16th, 1945, he had been claiming for the invasion.
he arrived in japan september 22nd 1945. japan is the seaport next to and lend, not nagasaki. he was on both sides, at least from the veteran information he was all around nagasaki. . but within two weeks, his whole unit got deathly sick, and at that point they were in japan halfway between hiroshima and nagasaki. as his surviving son, my father passed away at age 54 in 1987 and my aunts and uncles lived
old age. so this day i believe in radiation from the bomb in september. his whole unit was exposed and i just think that was part of the reason for his premature death. he was a christian vero thoroughly. he had cancer and service. my mother was a registered nurse. they asked a lot of questions. i was about ten years old when i asked my father that i heard the word armageddon it sunday school. he said son i have already been there and you never want to see. it you never want to see it. >> frank in north carolina. your thoughts in? >> if you want to talk about how the atomic bomb was different from conventional bombings, the issue of radiation is one of the first things that you consider.
admiral william lee he was the chairman of the joint chiefs after the war. he left a scathing passage in his post war memoir saying he felt it had been sort of a moral atrocity to drop this weapon on a city. and it was this revelation that he had that this was a poison weapon. he said he didn't understand that until the bomb was dropped. and you have these reports of radiation poisoning. and i think that our government and general mcarthur the supreme commander of japan after the war, they suppressed really all discussion of this issue of radiation. and they did so in a way that allowed some of our own serviceman to be exposed. i think that really was a historically great disgrace. we allowed our own forces to be
exposed in hiroshima and nagasaki without allowing them to fully understand the risks involved in radiation. you said his dad was a navy course men. they were really along the most heroic people on the battlefields. they expose themselves directly to enemy fire to treat wounded on the battlefield end to pull the wounded off the field to safety. and they also suffered some of the highest casualty rates in places like you would jima in particular and okinawa. >> our guest is ian toll. he is the author of books on the war in the pacific. his latest published in september, twilight of the gods, war of the western pacific 1944 to 1945. we welcome your calls and comments.
for world war ii that's and families we have a special line for you as well as one for japanese americans. he until, we have a photo in the book that i think we showed video of what part of tokyo looked like after repeated firebombings of the city. why did the u.s. not continue with that strategy. it appears to be equally as destructive as some of the photographs and videos that we have nagasaki and hiroshima. >> the fire bombings were continuing up to the end of the war. we were still running conventional bombing raids over japan even after nagasaki. and as you say, those incendiary bombing raids most likely if you take all of the incendiary and conventional bombing raids of japanese cities, the number of japanese civilians killed in those
conventional bombing attacks exceeded the number that were killed in here is shame and nagasaki. the first great fire bombing, the enormous fire bombing of tokyo that occurred on the night of march 10th and 11th 1945 it is very hard to say exactly how many people that killed. that's partly because all of the government records in the neighborhoods that were wiped out were destroyed. people were moving in and out of the city in that time a war. so you can really only vaguely estimate exactly how many people were killed. but almost everyone and the japanese government who studied the issue believes that it was at least 100,000. it could have been more like 150,000. it's conceivable that in that one nights firebombing raid you had more people killed than hiroshima and nagasaki combined. at least initially if you don't count radiation deaths
afterwards. so the scale of these firebombing raids was really enormous. and i think that was partly the reason that the assumption that we would drop these weapons on cities was not challenged by truman or by any of his principal advisers. because there was a feeling that we had already taken this step to start essentially attacking japanese population centers from the air. >> let's hear from salt lake city. >> good morning. my brother fought in world war ii. because of that, i have always been extremely interested. i like american history and specifically world war ii. i watched all the documentaries that i could find. i have cable and access to about 40 channels.
i don't have the education or the i don't know what else to say about the people you have had on here before. but i would like to say that i am from kansas city and i have been to the truman library and the eisenhower library. and it is my humble opinion based on these documentaries i have watched that if they had invaded japan, they would have thought us with everything they had, everything. anything they could put their hands on tooth and nail. i mean every step of the way. >> ian, how prepared with a japanese foreign invasion? >> how prepared where they?
at that point, japanese strength was down to its last drop. but it's true as the caller says that the japanese were essentially pouring all of their remaining strength, military strength, and civilian population, they were preparing to meet the invasion and to fight us tooth and nail, as she says. you had women and children even being organized into militias and being trained how to fight with bamboo spears, being told to use kitchen knives if necessary. so i think avoiding an invasion of japan was absolutely critical. and i think it was so critical that if it was true that if you could really say the choice was bomb to cities with anatomic bomb or launch a bloody
invasion, it was one of the other, i think if that was true i think that using the bombs exactly the way we did, hitting cities without a prior explicit warning, i do think that you could defend that. the traditional way in which americans have understood the atomic bombings sets up this kind of forest by an area where you have to choose either hit these cities without warning or launch an invasion. and i personally don't think that's right. i think there were many other options other than just those two. i think you can make a pretty good case, although there is a counter factual argument that an invasion wouldn't have been necessary. that's with her without the atomic bombs. keep in mind, the invasion of cuba, the first stage of the planned invasion, the target date was november 1st. that's almost three months after the bombing of hiroshima.
so the idea that the bombs were a last resort to an invasion that was just about to happen is, not quite right. as i say, veterans of that war had their own very, very strongly held beliefs about what had happened at the end of the war and as a historian and someone who has interviewed literally hundreds of world war ii veterans, i have never made it a practice to argue with world war ii veterans about this. i present my views, but i think it's important to recognize and to honor the feelings and the very strong feelings that veterans have about the subject. >> twilight of the gods is a third in your trilogy. how long has it taken you. how many years? >> a long time. 14 years i would say.
14 years. >> phil is next up in mammoth links california. >> thank you for taking my call. i'm 80 years old. my grandfather was in the army corps. he served on december seven and my father and law served in the u.s. navy for three years. and most of that time in the south pacific. ironically, the shift that he was on that eventually was decommissioned and was used as a ship for testing, the atomic tests that were done. i have a lot of feelings on this from a humanitarian point of view. the japanese empire was really defeated in 1944. it was an island country, as we're all the islands that the u.s. army and marines fought their way up to japan.
the fire bombing of the civilians in japan was jest, in my opinion, inhumane. the war was over. they had defeated the country. an invasion was not needed. the bombs were not needed. you have an island nation that lost their navy. they had no air force. the army had been defeated. we could have put it into occupation for years afterwards. i think it set the stage for a future as a young man in the fifties going through grammar school, conducting drills for the atomic bomb and the nuclear agent terror and all the rest of it. we have all had to live with that. i think it was unnecessary and it set the stage for the bad
things that have happened since and the threat of nuclear war as well. . >> one more thing on that. what a naval blockade have been effective? that's a question from a viewer and huntington woods, michigan. the previous caller ranch and something like that. >> we had a naval blockade in place at the end of the war. we had essentially destroyed japan's merchant marine, oil tankers, the kind of background of the pacific war was that japan is a place that has virtually no natural resources at all. it has no oil to speak of, low grade coal. very little mining and minerals as well. so why did japan strikeout to seize this enormous empire in
asia and the pacific? above all i think it was a desire that the military list imperialist regime had to control their own sources of natural resources, oil being the most important. it took oil fields in modern day indonesia and the east indies, the islands of borneo and sumatra. that's 300 miles from japan. they had the problem of trying to import oil through this 3000-mile artery that could very easily be attacked and was attacked by our submarines, by our air power, and by the third month of 1945. we had essentially cut that line completely. it is absolutely true that the japanese war machine was essentially kind of spluttering to a complete halt by the time that we ended the war with the
atomic bombs. and it is certainly true, you could make a good counter factual argument that if we didn't have the atomic bombs, forget whether we use them, if we didn't have them at all most likely the japanese would have surrendered by some point in the fall of 1945. >> so as the japanese fleet defeated at that time? >> absolutely. the japanese fleet really didn't exist. we had destroyed it. we saw all of their ships. what little remained of their navy was in japanese harbors. we were attacking their ships at anchor with our carrier planes. japanese navy was totally finished by the summer of 1945. i do agree. i do agree that the blockade most likely would have forced a japanese surrender. but how long would that have taken? that is hard to say.
the japanese army which really had control of the country, the rank and file of that army was determined not to surrender. so really what you are asking is a political question. in tokyo, how would you have created the conditions for the emperor to be able to say we are going to accept this unconditional surrender? and how that decision would stick across the military. as i say, i think you can make a good argument that would have happened even without the atomic bombs by the fall of 1945. but that's a counter factual argument. as a historian and scholar you need to acknowledge uncertainty and ambiguity there. >> what was going on in the nine days between the bombing of hiroshima and the announcement by the emperor of surrender on august 15th? what took so long? >> you had turmoil in the capital, as i say. the rank and file of the japanese army, the elites kind of middle echelon of the
officer corps at the imperial headquarters in tokyo and at the army ministry were dead set against anything resembling surrender. the idea of letting an occupying army, letting the enemy send an occupying army onto japanese soil without a fight, that was anathema to them. and so you had in the highest circle of power, within the inner circle of the ruling group, u.s. centrally had a deadlock between those who by that time were saying we don't have any choice. the nazis had been defeated. we are alone. we need to surrender and we have to be rational about this, and then the militarist sort of die hard hard-line fight on faction. there was a deadlock within the ruling group. and it took all of that time to resolve that deadlock. we had hiroshima on august 6th. nagasaki was on august 9th.
on august 9th another important thing happened. the russians declared war on the japanese and rolled the armenian tanks and enormous numbers of troops from siberia into manchuria. there was a sudden soviet attack. and it was that soviet attack that really was the final straw that convinced the ruling group in japan that they had no other choice. and it created the conditions where the emperor, who generally did not intervene, to make decisions. he said i am making the decision that we surrender. and the japanese military then accepted that decision. and so it was a difficult process for them to kind of reach that point of consensus that explains the delay. the first decision, the decision to surrender on the part of the japanese really came on august 9th.
but they responded to our demand for surrender by saying we want to preserve the status of our emperor. so there was a last round of negotiations between our government and the japanese government in those last five days. that explains part of the delay as well. >> here is bill in weigh-ins burrow, pennsylvania. go ahead. >> hello. my dad was a medic in okinawa during world war ii. he treated people there that had leprosy. i was proud of what my dad did during world war ii. i'm ashamed of what my country did by introducing this terrible weapon to the world. the fact is there were people in hiroshima and nagasaki who are instantly vaporized when the bomb was dropped. there were people whose flesh
was burned off their bones. i read one account that said people walked around silently right after this happened, believing that they had died and gone to hell. this is the horror of nuclear weapons. if we go to today, our nuclear weapons are one hundreds of times more powerful than those original bombs. and we could destroy this entire planet very quickly if we didn't kill all life immediately, everything, everyone would die after the nuclear winter from radiation, from the dust cloud that would block out the sun. can i say one more thing? >> go ahead. >> it may sound crazy to say we should ban nuclear weapons, but
how insane is it to maintain these weapons? and i would like to ask your guest, how do you feel about a worldwide ban, pursuing a true ban of nuclear weapons as opposed to constantly updating and refining the nuclear weapons? >> just to take that last question, if it was possible to ban all nuclear weapons that are in the hands of all of governments around the world and to decisively deal with a potential problem of a non state actor getting access to a nuclear weapon, then absolutely i think it would be in the interest of not just this country, but the world to get rid of these weapons.
there is a silver lining in this conversation we are having, which is that we are now 75 years since the first weapon was used against the people of hiroshima. three days later we did it to nagasaki. and 75 years, we have not had another nuke used in any war, in any conventional, war against any civilian population, against any military population. we have never seen a nuclear used. in 1975, 45 excuse, me people at the end of the war, americans at the end of the war we're looking forward and would have been surprised if that had been the case. there was very much an assumption that this was a new era of warfare. and of course, throughout the cold war, this was a constant terror. we had generations who grew up having to do these duck and cover drills in classrooms. we came very close on several
occasions during the cold war to a nuclear exchange. so we have been very fortunate that we haven't seen these weapons used again. so i think that is something that we can celebrate today. >> a couple more calls here. we will go to be in crowley texas. good morning. >> good morning. i just wanted to say that it seems awfully easy for a lot of people to be saying that we shouldn't have been there, that we shouldn't have done that, when they weren't here, and they were living through this. but those of us who were were just thankful when it was all over. i had two uncles that were japanese p.o.w.'s. one went through a death march. and my family just rejoiced
when the war was over. people were getting killed regardless and this put an end to it for a while at least. >> he, and how soon after the bombings did americans know the news? >> no the news that we had dropped a bomb, one of these weapons? >> you played the clip of truman announcing on the augusta on august 6th, the same day in fact, just within an hour i believe of the bomb being dropped. the white house issued a statement explaining that we had this new weapon and that we had dropped it. unfortunately, i think, from looking back with hindsight, we
said we had dropped it on the japanese military base which really isn't true. if you drop the nuke on san diego it would be like saying we had a naval base. there is a whole city there. you should be able to say this is what we did. i think that looks better and the long lines of history. but as the last caller said, for americans who are fighting in that war, these abstractions were not important to them. these are abstractions. these are questions. how does it make us look as a country kind of in the long term? what does it do for our legacy? those are abstract questions. if you are fighting on the ground, a marine, a soldier, sailor, you expect to be deployed in this final invasion of japan. the issue looks much much different for you at that
point. you are essentially willing for your country or president to do anything at all to end this war and to end it quickly without an invasion. additionally, it was the brutality of war. in 1945, we should be clear about this, the american people, polling shows this, understood the atomic bombings in part as an act of revenge. this was an act of revenge against the japanese for the way that they had treated civilians throughout asia and in particular the way they had treated our prisoners. the way the orthodox or traditional defensive the atomic bombings goes, the issue of revenge is removed from the equation. it's more that we hit these two cities because the total number of dead would have been lower than in an in vegas in and it was sort of bent the might
utilitarian reasoning. the greatest good for the greatest number. that not as an act of revenge. the initial feeling we had was that this was an active divine retribution against a enemy. that only survive the first year or two after the war. once we started getting graphic accounts of what had happened in hiroshima and nagasaki, when john hershey's article was published in the new yorker, this was in a year after the bombings, august 1946. that is when the american people really began to wrestle with this and to realize this is not how we think about ourselves as a country. we don't take revenge on women and children in cities. that's not who we are. so then the explanation changed a little bit to, we had to do that. it was a horrible thing, a terrible tragedy, but we had to
do it because the alternative would have been even worse. >> the author of twilight of the, gods in, toll that's the third and final volume of his pacific war trilogy, war in the western pacific, 1944 through 1945. we appreciate you joining us on this 75th anniversary. >> my pleasure. >> our program continues more of your phone calls ahead. we are joined next by mary yamaguchi, and press reporter in japan calling this morning from hiroshima. she was reporting this morning on the 75th anniversary there in hiroshima. mary yamaguchi, good morning. >> good morning. i am not in japan, but good morning. >> what can you tell us about the ceremony that took place today in the peace park in hiroshima? >> yes. it was held at a memorial.
but this year it has been significantly scaled down because of the coronavirus. so there were only about fewer than 1000 people that attended, which is about one tenth of the usual attendants. >> i understand the mayor of hiroshima spoke. what did we hear from the mayor? >> he said that despite the coronavirus scare, he called for world leaders to sort of cooperate together more than ever. and also he called on world leaders to visit hiroshima, to see firsthand the realty of the
atomic bombing so that they will be more likely to abandon nuclear weapons. and also he noted that as for the japanese government doing more to take leadership in playing the bridge between nuclear states and non nuclear states so that they we'll work harder to get rid of nuclear weapons. >> mary yamaguchi, you have been reporting this week on the survivors, the victims of hiroshima and how they have been stigmatized over the years in japan. there is an urgency to bear witness grows for last hiroshima victims your article, how is japan helping to preserve the legacy of those
survivors? >> rather than the government i think it is citizens groups and pacifist groups that are helping and working with them more than the government. more than the government although some local governments including hiroshima are trying to set up occasions for them to tell their stories. to share with younger people so that they will learn their lessons in their lifetime. there are also projects that originated by hiroshima and some other cities to train young people to learn specific
survivors stories so that they can continue to tell their story on their behalf. >> associated press reporter larry on the gulch yamaguchi joining is this. morning reporting on the 75th anniversary of hammer machine. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> there's more i had another hour here on your program of your calls in comments. up next will continue our discussion of the anniversary truman daniel. first of all here is the former president to sit explaining his decision to use the atomic weapons. from out takes from a television series that talk to chairman that harry truman did in the sixties. >> when we oceans the ultimatum to japan to surrender, the only answer we got was to go to the
devil. at some of this time, you're trying to go behind the backs trying to see for peace. when they replied that way, we knew there was only one of two things to do. we can advance in japan and fight every into the way, leaving a lot of our men dead or we could drop the atomic bomb. so we drop the bomb. we learned later that the japanese cabinet met and finally there were enough who agreed to surrender to split the cabinet in half. one half in favor of surrender, the other determined to fight on. in the spirit, the emperor was finally called on to give his opinion. and unprecedented move. he didn't want his people to die more than he wanted to surrender. at the military was split and would not no device of this.
so we had to drop a second bomb an nagasaki. that did it. i'll tell you with that those two a bombs dropped on them to show them that we met business, they might never have surrendered. even though they knew they would be looked but they would've killed 3 million more people on both sides. that's why there is no question of the whole japanese military of the dropping of the adam bomb was the only sensible thing to do. it was the only thing to do. all right a lot of crybabies round that would should've ought to down. and the should've had a demonstration been seen before we kill all those people. i had the authority of the best men in the business and that's very else temps in that the only operation japanese would understand would be to show them what it was and that's what happened.
it stopped the war. i don't care what the crybaby say now. they didn't have to make the decision. >> joining us from chicago, as clifton truman daniels the grandson of harry truman. joining us tonight on the 75th anniversary of the hiroshima by him and wanting. you were 15 years old when your grandfather passed away. he said impasse conversations with us that you never had a chance to talk with indirectly about the decision to bomb here shame and nagasaki. what have you come to regarding his decision. what is your view of his decision to drop those bombs? why do you think you grandfather made that decision? >> my grandfather always said that he made the decision to end the war and save american and japanese lies. i understand that that is a simplistic answer but that is something he stuck to all of his life.
for me, i've been listening a little bit to the previous program, the previous gas. it is still today a complicated issue as to whether that was the right or the wrong decision, whether and in the warm weather didn't, whether blockade would've done the same thing. whether or not we would've had to invade. for me, working with survivors, working with the truman library, for me it's more important to listen to the stories, to understand why it happened why the decision was made. so that we don't do it again and more broadly, so that we can avoid future conflict. i think if we look at all the reasons that wire where we got to where we got, we'll have a better understanding of how to head off again. we'll sometimes it don't have much hope for that. >> what sort of resources have you used in your quest to figure out that decision? where are you looking for your
information on your grandfather's decision? >> just reading broadly. a reading biographer biographies of my grandfather, it's memoir, reading books that he wrote after the presidency. from his point of view, but also from the other side, talking to survivors, working the survivors of in hiroshima nagasaki. listen into the stories, trying to understand the japanese point of view. generally, whatever comes my way, whatever is new, whatever i think might i might be telling us more understanding. from >> you are well along and your career, profession, the life of a parent when in 2012 you were the first truman to visit hiroshima as part of a visit there. that was a program we heard and with c-span, and 2012. what prompted your decision to go to japan, to go to here she may?
>> i'll try and shorten it. it's a bit of a long story. when my son leslie was ten years old, he came home from school with a book, said sadat go and 1000 paper cranes. for those who don't know cynical story, sadat ghost izaki was a real little girl who survived the bombing of hiroshima at the age of two. her for her inner family were fairly lucky, they survived largely, however they lost grandmother in the attack. she went on to develop radiation induced leukemia at the age of 11. in the hospital she followed a japanese tradition that a few fold 1000 or a ghani paper cranes that you are granted health. she folded 1300 cranes and sadly she died of leukemia and 1955 at the age of 12. there is a monument to sadat go
and to all the children who were second or killed or wounded by the bomb and here she in this piece per park today. wesley's teacher, didn't just given the book. she taught the japanese culture. she taught in japanese history, she took into a japanese restaurant. they fully cranes in closs, they had a tea ceremony. i came home one often from work and found wesley wearing a kimono with going teen sushi laid out on the take bulb hind. and so she bought all japan into our house. on subsequent anniversary of the bombings, when japanese journalist called looking for a comment of the truman family, i mentioned that story. i mentioned that we had red sox story together. and i told wesley at the time that i thought it was important for him to understand his great grandfather's decision, his country's point of view, but also to understand what that
cost the people of hiroshima and nagasaki. wesley said that he enjoyed the book. he remembered enjoying the book as a child. what he said was that it was different from all of his children's books and that it did not have a happy ending. i think it was in 2005, i had a call from japan from masahiro, so tacos older brother, a survivor himself of the bombing. he had roger japanese journalists account, read the interviews that they had done with me. he asked me if we could meet someday, if we might be able to works together. i said yes. it took us five more years. we did not meet until 2010, in new york city. lost a home and his son were visiting the 9/11 tribute center, to donate one of sadat goes last original cranes has a gesture of healing for the 9/11
terrorist attacks. during that meeting, it took a crane from a boxer he was carrying and drop the crane into my palm and told me that was the last crane the sadat go had fooled before she died. that time he asked me if i would consider visiting nagasaki and one of the ceremonies. >> our guest is cool for daniel truman skinny clifford tremendous annual. we're gonna get some more from a program in 20,012. folks to go to seven foray 8001 mountain in pacific for those of you who are world war ii veterans. two for 2:02 --
during that trip, mr. danny spoke to several survivors. i want to play the video was still a conversation of one of the store because survivors telling his conversation. >> i remove the rubble by digging around the area and iran managed to. the con foundation of our house was covered by big pillar. my mother was lying face up in her eyes were bleeding. since i couldn't make it to her side i asked or can you move unless she said no unless you can move the stuff from my shoulder i can't move. but i couldn't. >> i was a militarist boy and i
knew that japan was cornered and going to lose soon so i was always dreaming every day that i would get on a plane and throw myself directly onto the u.s. battleships. i never imagined such a horrible thing would happen to me. but >> i have to say to my mother the fire is spreading so fast i cannot help you. my mother said get away from her quick. i said go visit your father who passed away in may. so i went away from that scene leaving my mother. i knew that she was going to die in the fire. >> clifton truman daniel how did those stories and you 2012 trip changed your perspective on the bombing of hiroshima?
>> obviously, i think your viewers will also agree that those are hard to listen to. we listened to and they call a testimony. my family and i listen to more than two dozen on that trip but as hard as it is to listen to its, it's much harder for the survivors to relive it. and they do, day after day after day. when i tell those stories. they're committed to doing that again so that we understand the horror of nuclear attack. and also they do it so we can prevent it. i was struck by the survivors, that kindness, that generosity that they're willing to retail these stories over and over again for our benefit. not one of them came to me in anger recrimination. they simply wanted to tell me
those stories and asked me at the end of each interview i would help telling those stories in the name of discern minute and peace. >> while survivors obviously 80 years old. what is your role, those survivors dine pass? away or you see it is your role to keep telling the story? >> to keep telling those stories. to keep telling openly and honestly, telling those stories, telling the human story and the atomic bombings, the decision, the facts the reasons to keeping opening about that. to keep telling those in the name of honesty and accurate. history >> to feel uncomfortable for you knowing that you're that decision was made by a grandfather? >> no. i will credit the survivors with that.
survivors and massive zero soggy. no, they the atmosphere was respectful. again, open, blunt, factual, but respectful on both sides. i was not uncomfortable in that regard at all. >> we have plenty of calls waiting. our guest clifton daniel truman, former grandson of president former president print harry truman. for those of you who are world war ii vets or family members, william inordinate florida. >> i was. i landed on okinawa i was an 18 year old boy. at that time there were about 2000 landing crafts. these landing crass were gonna be used to invade japan.
they had over two and a half thousand cannot kamikaze plans waiting for us. good friend of mine bill was involved with general mcarthur on the invasion of japan. i said to him, what would've happened one was it gonna be? he said i was gonna be november the. first we i said we had a tremendous typhoon on november 1st on it in that months. what would've it would've done to the invasion? he said it would've destroyed the invasion. the winds were over 150 miles an hour. destroyed everything on okinawa and there was no way that the invading fleetwood survive. general mcarthur sent bill haley to japan to check out the
area. he was the first american in japan after the atom bomb and he said the destruction was unbelievable. what they had waiting for us he said was unbelievable as well. he said they had submarines, two men subs, that all kind of fortifications. the civilians were all armed to their teeth, waiting for the americans to invade. >> william importante thanks for your call. mr. daniel >> i've heard similar stories. i'm not familiar with the typhoon that william mentioned. those are stories that i heard also from survivors. although there are some of them that feel that japan was defeated and that it was only a matter of weeks, months days
before they surrendered. at the same time, survivors tell stories of fighting with anything that they could, with kitchen utensils. there were going to be groups of civilians who are going to be attached to groups of soldiers to fight side by side. those stories resonate with me. at the same time, civilians were terrified. this is not something that they did train for it, but it is not something they expected. japanese government told him they were all going to fall like the petals of cherry blossoms and i was going to be a glorious mass suicide. that's in lima stories i heard in japan. >> and is in clayton north carolina good morning. >> good morning. i'm an immigrant and i student of american history.
i want to send out find out more about the country. now i'm residing -- how would your guest answer the question. would japan surrender without a bomb? taking into consideration regarding the decision of yalta conference in february that took place for 11 1945 when british prime minister winston churchill, president franklin roosevelt and soviet leader joseph stalin decided the soviet union would enter the war against japan and it did. at that time when the bomb was
dropped, the soviet union took so much territory, occupied -- they were about to enter al hokkaido. >> soviets soviets right? >> the soviet army was about to enter high kolkata. about the time the bomb was dropped. was it really necessary because the soviet army would've occupied japan? they were moving very fast and japanese were fighting very fiercely but the power of the soviet union was huge. they were moving very fast, they were right there. >> anna let you go right there.
clifton toonie daniel rather. what does the survivors tell you that the state of the populace at that time? what was the population? like with a prepared for any sort of potential invasion beat soviet or american? >> they were preparing for the invasion, drilling with a bamboo spears, drilling with army units. but at the same time, and in was saying this in your previous segment, they had very little left in terms of, the civilians have very little left. there was no fuel, food was scarce. one of the survivors in fact, the first survivor than i ever heard the full story from. sets echo thoreau gave the acceptance speech when the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons when the nobel priests in 2017.
she gave a speech, she is a lifelong discern minutes advocate. when the bomb was, drop she was a 13 year old school girl. she in 29 classmates wearing an army building here in hiroshima. they were learning to use the secret japanese cone machines. sets eco told me when we met we had nothing. we had no food, we had no fuel. you had schoolgirls learning how to use the secret code machines and advance of the invasion. so while both was going on, both were happening, you had them preparing for an invasion gearing up to fight american soldiers, but they were doing it with whatever they had it hand. >> how did japanese generally view the post war occupation of the u.s.? >> some of the stories i heard in japan. one of the ones springs to mind was that after the bombings survivors recorded their
stories by writing it down. a row poetry, there will long hand, they rode it out, they wrote their experiences down. did you pictures. a lot of pink japanese to pictures. of what they have been through unseen. the occupation government, the u.s. government confiscated a lot of that because it was inflammatory. they figured that if you had a lot of that out there people really knew the horror of the build bombings, it would make it harder to occupy japan and harder to rebuild. so there is resentment over that. there's also resentment over the atomic bomb casualty hospitals set up after the war to study victims for radiation. they didn't treat, then they studied them. so on the one hand, that was helpful to general understanding, not only to the patients understanding others ease, but to world understanding of radiation
poisoning. but it felt a little like labyrinths. >> who is running those hospitals? . >> that was us. >> let's hear from kenji here in washington d.c. good morning. >> yes. i just wanted to bring up to really important facts. i'm just visiting from japan. first of all, most people seem to be unaware that whenever the u.s. bond, they would drop leaflets, a total of 70 million were dropped that specifically said we don't want to harm you. we're working to bring peace to the country and would specifically warn people to leave areas that they will be bombing the next day. over 70 million were dropped. secondly, when when you're in japan they will never tell you this but especially the older people. i've probably heard from 100 of them. they will tell you that when they heard the news of the bombing of hiroshima, they danced in the streets.
i'll give you a quote because that meant the war would finally over. mr. who was the leader of the pearl harbor attack, met in 1959 with paul tickets who is one of the ones who dropped a bump. this is his quote. you did the right thing which. the japanese attitude at that time was fanatic. every man and woman and child would've resisted the invasion with sticks and stones. finally, it's very important that this narrative has developed. when you speak to people who are actually adults and remember, they will all say that when they saw the american bombers fly overhead and then when they heard about the bomb, they were so happy because there is no way, they felt so terrible for the ones who passed away. but they knew that if the war
came on land, about million people would've died. the interesting thing is, i was in baghdad before the war. it was the exact same situation. people were so desperate. nothing could lodge a bad ruler. they said let the americans. come we'd rather have them bomb us. some of us were died, at least will be free. two important facts. over 70 million leaflets were distributed. if you go online, you can see them all. they're just amazing. they say the world is with you, japanese people hang on. everything is going to be okay, we're very sorry but the only thing we can do is bomb. they instruct people to leave the area of the bombing. >> can jail it to go seeking a response from our guests. >> thank you candy. those are familiar to me but i also think what makes me think
of sets echoes another story that she told. she listened to the emperors broadcast surrendering on august 15th. she and her family and they had set up a loudspeaker or a radio system hanging the speaker from the tree. she remembers the people gathered around. they got up in the hills and south of the city to escape the city by this time. she remembers people weeping, crying out, stunned. i think both in relief but stunned that japan with surrender. just as an aside, surprised to be hearing the emperors voice. i think that was the first time it, it was certainly the first time that all of them around the speaker had heard the emperor speak. he didn't often address the japanese people directly. >> just want to show our
viewers some information on those warning leaflets to. this is a page. if you look at the atomic heritage association. an article about some of those leaflets and how they were used. eureka california next up. william good morning. >> yes good morning. i take it on all this is quite different from what you've already heard. i was born in 1943 and my dad at that time until he retired was the administrative assistant assistant to the admiral at the ship your in california which is a summary base. very important during that time during at that time during the war. submarines were important. anyway my uncle lived in eureka california and we lived in doll hail and was my mother's brother and he was having trouble up here with his
employers. my dad asked if he would come and live with them and he could work at the shipyard. he was a head letter and in grain or. it is a lettering on the doors to all the offices and stuff like that. it was an art that had to be done at the time. anyway, as i was growing up my uncle lived in the basement my parents were always gone on weekends. he was like a built-in babysitter. he would be stone sober monday through friday. saturday and sunday drunk as a skunk. really really drunk. i could never understand that. nobody ever told me. i just thought that's the way he was. he was suffering from what we call now post-traumatic stress disorder. what would happen as i got older he would start going into
the war, talking about the war. he was in the army. one time he scare the living daylights out of me. i'll never forget it as long as i love. went downstairs, he broke out his gun, his rifle and then he reached into a private area he had and he brought out a bayonet. the strap turn on the end of the gun and starting started telling me how he was killing japanese. he was mean. he got furious and then he settled down because i guess i realized i was just a little kid. then he apologized and put it all away. you never did again but he would talk about every time he was drunk. my perspective on the whole thing is my uncle didn't want to kill anybody. he was an isis person you could've ever met in your life.
>> okay william in california. and a response. >> thank you. i think of you listening to your ankle i think of fred mitchell. he lived in pennsylvania and i'm sorry to say i don't know if mr. mitchell is with us anymore. he fought in the pacific. he was like you're on call. he never wanted to kill anything is it. as a child growing up in a farm, he had trouble shooting deer when he went hunting with his father. he couldn't do it. he didn't like to kill anything. wound up fighting in the war in the pacific. i think he was a radio operator on a destroyer. two kamikaze planes his destroyer and he was very lucky to have survived. he was blown out of the way by the first explosion. when the second plane hit, the entire battery where he was stationed was destroyed. he lost most of his friends and
he wound up in the water for hours, gasoline burning water, oil. he was traumatized and had ptsd duty. he was treated for. for decades afterwards, hated the japanese. he kept that hatred. it got so bad that his wife and his parents didn't know what to do. they were religious family, attended church every sunday but he could not shake. this they were worried about him. if he saw someone that even looked as though they were asian descent, it didn't matter, chinese korean, he got angry. finally, he watched a program on television about a group of former marines who had fought on okinawa and a group of former kamikaze trainees who had gotten together. they had met in japan and talk
to each other and put it behind them. threw one thing or another, he wound up doing something similar. he travel to japan, he met with former kamikaze trainees and he said we were just a bunch of old men talking to each other. they were just like me. finally, he was in his seventies when this happened, finally he was able to put that hatred away. >> you talked to many, many other survivors of hiroshima. i soon aga sock is. we'll have you ever spoken to a former crew members of the plains that drop the bombs? >> no, i have never spoken to anyone who is on that plane. >> what malaria gallup new mexico good morning. >> good morning. i'm with the navajo nation and i want to say a little piece here regarding the navajo code talkers code talkers.
my father served in the islands here regina, nagasaki and -- . the navajo code talkers were formed and informed, you heard that term fat cat a little big boy that the navajo were working in the south pacific headquarters company and they were told that there would be something going to happen in the wind. that was the message that was sent out. after all the events of the bombing that happen, the forces were broken down and some of the no navajo code talkers were sent into nagasaki and hiroshima confiscating the
weapons, guarding the streets, and distributing food and clothing. that was the role of the navajo. the message that they sent after the occupation back to san francisco through the navajo code. we don't know who the nova novel code talkers were who sent that code but that's part of history. what was said, how many buildings were destroyed, how much vegetation left, how many people to seized after the impact. what was going on there. thank you. maybe can say something about american indians and their role in the post occupation of japan. >> okay larry. >> thanks larry. i don't know the history of native americans in the neck and have a hose in the occupation.
i know someone who was also there with the code talkers. it's the late horrible on doll was a myth marine military captain he fought his way all across the pacific. prior to the expected invasion he was looking at maps of nagasaki. they were supposed to land nagasaki near the poor area. nagasaki is a steep river valley. they're steep hills all around the port. japanese gun emplacements just to rain shelves over a orderliness man an invasion force. he was very worried that they were not going to make it through that initial assault. and the bombs were dropped in the war ended in more of a was of course usually relieve that they did not have to land nagasaki. they wound up landing at nagasaki weeks later as part of the initial attack patient
force. or val was heartsick at the destruction. the wounds on the civilians. the hillsides were bare. nothing standing. no trees, no buildings. the u.s. army had disarmed the japanese officers. they taken their weapons, taking their swords. there was a huge pile of sorts, ceremonial swords in a warehouse up the coast for nagasaki. horrible and all the other men were urged to take these a souvenirs because other was the u.s. was just an after destroy them. oral wasn't a souvenir ticker, he was didn't a leave in that. but he chose a sword, and i soared unscented home. over the years afterwards, he didn't put it over his mantle. he didn't take it out and show to shore off to people. he kept it in a closet. had a devil of a time keeping his children grandchildren away from it.
over the years, he kept it clean. he oiled it, he kept the bay blade clean. he took care of it. after 67 years finally, and he wondered who wouldn't belong to ensure to give it back and how would you go about that. he tried on and off over the years to see if he couldn't find the owner of the owner's family. he never had any success. finally after he retired, 67 years after the war, through the st. paul minnesota nagasaki sister city commission, he found somebody who could translate the wooden tag that was on the hilt of the sword. most of the source didn't have tags and once it did have tags were silk, but this tag was wooden and had a name and address. through sheer luck and a lot of phone calls, they found the son of the owner of the sword. the officer who had to give it up. tata hero modern norah.
he was a japanese newspaper executive the nagasaki. mr. armed all wrote and told him that he wanted to give him back, the sword. mr. motor more came to the u.s. with his wife and two sons to receive a or back from or evil. the ceremony was packed and it was very emotional for everyone around. there was a writer karen stetson in minnesota who had helped arrange this. she writes about survivors of hiroshima nagasaki. she helped arrange us and i call karen two weeks after the ceremony asked our doing? she says i can't get any work done because i can't keep getting phone calls from people wanting to return swords. >> let's hear from joe and wellington wilmington north carolina. >> i'm a son of a world war ii veteran that was landed and anvil worked all way up to
czechoslovakia. seeing that nazis were using young children and old people at the end which killed a lot of americans to. my father volunteered to be part of the european element of young soldiers. he was at that time about 21 year old staff sergeant. they went down to naples where they were building a troop of fleet ships. they kept them on board four nights. then they release them, said a great bomb had been dropped upon japan. i certainly may not have been borne, but i have served 30 years in the military. i used to see a lot of people and i've helped a lot of people and pwcs. i've seen survive a lot of
battles. when i was stationed in new mexico, i met a couple of navajo code talkers which more shows should be talking about. the fact is that if there was no pearl harbor, there would be no issue about talking about that. of course, japan's imperial force was in china in the thirties. >> joe thanks for your call. we mentioned the code talkers. warner remind our viewers we have covered several programs of the navajo code talkers. look at c-span.org you can find plenty of information about that. search navajo code talkers. >>. i'm mr. daniels the honoree
treasure trustees of the areas truman librarian institute. you've also written a couple of books about your grandparents. book dear harry love bass. did you ever ask your grandmother about the bombing of hiroshima? >> no i did not. again, and going back to whether i ask my grandfather or grandmother. when we saw them, they were granting grappa. we saw them on family vacations. these were also vacations from school. the last thing i was looking for was another history lesson. i was out of school. my grandmother the same way. i didn't ask her about the bombings. that said, i don't think that my grandfather or my grandmother would certainly have told me anything differently than they would've told you or anyone in the audience. my father was remarkably open and consistent consistent in his views. there was nothing that family would've learned that the
public would not have that either written or spoken. let me just go back for two seconds to say to joe in wilmington. it was nice to hear from someone and wilmington since i lived there for 15 years for moving to chicago. i work front star news. it was in wilmington at the end of the day of ceremonies marking the end of the 50th year of the war. that's when i first met met specific war veterans. iraqi trying to get a hold of my mother, they were trying to snag her sleeve and talk to her. they didn't get her, the crowd moved on. she got pulled away. but my wife and i stay behind and asked if there was something we could do for them. both of these men had tears in their eyes. we asked them what's wrong? nothing we just wanted to thank or. if their father hadn't dropped that ball we wouldn't be here. pacific war veterans. >> i understand you encourage
president obama to visit japan in 2016 why was that? >> again in the interest of being open and honest about it. decisions were made. horrible decisions in a war. dan carlson, historian and podcast or. i listen years ago to one of his podcast and one of the things he said struck. me the thomas bombings were certainly an atrocity, but they were the last atrocity in a war full of atrocities. was a horrible, devastating war. people make decisions in wartime that are fatal. to millions of people if we're going
but also to memorialize them with the other victims of hiroshima good morning -- >> i'd like to tell you. my father ... seven of my uncles were at world war ii. and they fought altogether. all the way to the pacific and all this. in fact my father was a normandy. fought in the battle of the bulge. walked into germany. into a concentration camp in germany. he told me, even though he had fought two of the biggest battles in history, he never realized how terribly a human
being can treat a human being until he walked into that concentration camp. but this year, about the atomic bomb. i would like to put that in perspective. what the atomic bomb dropped on japan did was it ended a war. where there was an estimated, 70 to 85 million people were killed during that war. and those atomic bombs put an end to it. thank you. >> thank you mickey. yeah again, the debate goes on. i find myself i think as i said earlier, in the middle of this. i cannot, will not tell a pacific war veteran that those bombs were not a good idea. they had been through so much already.
and fought for their country, and had endured a lot. i also can't tell as survivor of hiroshima and nagasaki, that the bombs were a great idea. they too suffered. that is what i try to look at. it's the human suffering, the sacrifice on both sides. you have to look at the human stories, and understand what happened and what that means. >> here's carroll east a top at new york. >> hello, i just want to tell another side. my father was an air corman in new guinea. i won't say anything negative about the japanese up today. but my father was in new guinea, i was in three different groups. and every single person but him was the only one who is left. he never talked about the war at all. when he got married to my mother, he used to get up in the middle of the night and
have his arms around her neck. the only good job was a dead jet, and he was a tempting to kill a good gap. my father died at 56 years old because of it. and they have to realize, had they not dropped these bombs, we would still be in war. we were not fighting -- my father died and 76, the last year of his life he talked to me constantly about the war. i know a lot about it. this was protecting their god. this wasn't protecting the president, protecting their country. this was protecting their gods, and if we had not dropped those bombs we would still be in war today. unfortunately. but my father died with severe post-traumatic stress disorder. having a nervous breakdown, and died at the age of 56 because of all of this. >> okay carol will get a
response. clifton got a response? >> thank you carole. you just said it yourself, you do separate the japanese of today from -- and you also have to separate japanese civilians in 1945 from japanese military. certainly there was a wide range of emotion over the war. among the japanese. there were the war who are all four finding to the last man. committing suicide, going down fighting. and there were those that were brow beaten into that. who just wanted to live their lives, and a half peace. they just one of the war to be over. i did a program in new york, some years ago. with xi gecko sophomore, who survived the bombing of hiroshima. she gecko was 12 years old, when the bomb exploded. she was badly burned. she came to this country in 1955, one of the hiroshima maidens for reconstructed sure jury. we were with a group of international students, and the
time when questions came around, one of the students stood up and said i am chinese. what about -- you want sympathy and understanding from the bombings, what about the japanese military did to my people did to china. and she gecko said very quietly, we had no idea. we did not know what was going on. certainly she didn't, some japanese. did not everyone understood fully what japanese we're doing in china. but you have a broad range of emotion on the war on both sides. >> the headline we showed you earlier from the associated press mark the 75th anniversary of the world's first atomic attack. mr. daniel, you visit in 2012, what was your initial reaction in going into that piece part in hiroshima? how was you're visit received by both the media and the public? >> my reaction, the initial
reaction in both hiroshima and nagasaki stuck. it should not have been a surprise to me, but it was. both cities, both peace parks, are very much like being in a church, or synagogue, or mosque. it's hollowed ground. thousands of people died there, in hiroshima on the peace walk, their ashes are three feet down on the layer of the soil. one japanese survivor called it's sad layer of soil, a layer of bone ash. you are in hollowed ground, and you feel it. the survivors contribute to that through their kindness. there is a feeling in both hiroshima and nagasaki, a feeling of peace. both cities are dedicated to peace. so that was my initial reaction, and that is what stuck. overall, the reaction to my visit was positive. it was positive before we went, a couple of japanese journalist
came to chicago and wrote positive articles about the visit. people were polite and kind, the japanese media was respectful. the overall positivity ... the one hitch, and i should have been expecting it. i got a question from the first interview that i did in tokyo, before we even went to hiroshima, the reporter got two questions in to the interview. and then said, have you come to apologize? as i said, it caught me off guard and caught me flat-footed. and i said no, this is not what it is about. it is about honoring the dead and listening to the living. and she kept rephrasing it. she said if you did not come to apologize, why bother? she kept rephrasing it -- my translator was half under chair getting ready to intervene and stop the interview because it was rude and the japanese point of view. i worried about that, question.
all that afternoon at the event in tokyo university, all the way to hiroshima on the train. all that night i thought, am i just gonna wind up defending the apology question? putting it off, doing this for the whole trip. i walked into the peace park next morning, throng reporters around the peace monument. masahiro society came out of the phone, i had not seen him in two years. i had not seen him since we met in 2010. he came out of the throng and put his arms around me, and hugged me. and most of my worries evaporated at that point, because masahiro was reassuring me, showing me and showing the japanese people that we were in this together. >> we'll go to bonnie next month and marin a higher. >> yes. i had two uncles that were in
world war ii. one got captured by the japanese, and him and part of his squad. they threw him down in a pit and covered him up. every time they get out of the pit, japanese with take their boots and take him in the face and not come back down. after they would come home, they would never talk about it and i found out that my mom's first husband was one of the guys that helped drop the bomb on hiroshima. and when he got home, he died a few months later. before he died he told -- i don't ever want to see that again. you don't want to see this in your lifetime. he said it was a very nasty look. that's all i have to say. >> thank you bonnie. >> yes, there is again the last atrocity in a war full of atrocities. >> let me ask you from this point on, what you have been doing and staying in contact
with some of those victims. some of the survivors and their families, does that we're continue? >> it does not as intensely as it did it first, when i first came back. i spent four years working on and off with a nonprofit in new york called him -- is a japanese word for survivor. bomb affected person. the nonprofit over a period of eight years, they brought survivors to speak to more than 30,000. high school students in the new york city area. i worked with them for four years doing exactly that. one of the founders, kathleen sullivan, or robert king quiz, we get up and talk about the current nuclear arsenal. the 17,000 nuclear arsenals. if not all of them hundreds more times more powerful than the bombs who destroyed hiroshima nagasaki. talk about how so many of them
are on hair trigger alerts, still aim that world war targets. both our government and the soviet -- are talking about modernizing the nuclear arsenal. we feel like we are on the edge of another arms race. at the same time, we have many countries working against nuclear proliferation. more than 120 countries have signed a treaty. of banning nuclear weapons on their soil. but you have, you have this still going on. i spent four years talking to students, i would get up and tell us the reason i'm telling you now. i would introduced a survivor, here she would tell his or her story about the day of the bombing. students were very receptive to that. high school students can be tough to reach. they slouch in their chairs, they look at their phones. none of that was going on here. they were paying rapt attention, and afterwards, they wanted
selfies. they wanted to talk to the survivors, they wanted hugs. and they got them. it was a very emotional and effective program. >> let's see if we can get a call or two more, daryl and east point michigan. good morning. >> >> daryl michigan you are on the air! >> all right we're going to cameron to missouri, good morning. >> hi, i wanted to say that -- >> could you do us a favor and take your phone off speaker. it's a little hard to hear you. >> i apologize. is that better. >> yes that's better. >> okay. i wanted to say that fighting in the war has done something that we have done for years. without war we cannot find peace, and recently these protests went on in america and we have been combatting this
virus and looking back at our history, i've realized that maybe there is a time coming where we don't have to fight wars anymore. we can just come to peace and live in that piece. and not have to go back to fighting anymore. if we can come to that time, i think we would all be better off and we one have to worry about which country is gonna nuke which country or what have you. it's nonsense. it's a big chaotic mess, if we can continue to -- all we are going to do is end up hurting each other or damaging our neighbors. it's not an effective way of living i believe. >> if you can hold your thought for a minute, i just want to see if we can get one more call from hawaii. this is such eco. >> thank you so much, it's worth it. i've been up from 3:00 in the morning to see this program. i am so happy to meet with you.
the grandson of truman. i am a post war 1946. i just happen, two days ago, from nagasaki who is a professional photograph or, he just passed away at age 96. he is also from the nagasaki bomb. -- he and my father were very very good friends with each other. my father also passed away several years ago. mr. tucker hereupon's to weigh and i'm nearly wanted to see this program on nagasaki and the atomic bomb. today we live in 2020. artificial intelligence area era. we have internet. what we need to know out of all of this tragic human killing each other war and covid, we
should put an end to it. what we all have to do is learn to appreciate and study languages. if you can only communicate with each other and understand each other, the culture of understanding. japanese has a long history from an the arrow 2000 years ago. we went to the samurai era and then modernization. every time we do have this is epic change. >> we really appreciate you holding on the line. and calling from. hawaii will get some last thoughts from our guest. >> thank you such eco and thank you cameron. i know it's nevada missouri not nevada. i only know that because i've been there.
for both of you, the story that brings to mind this she more here and it her son survived the bombing of hiroshima. lived in caves a built in the mountainside. she lost her whole family, and lived under a bridge. her sister was so sick that she committed suicide by stepping in front of a train after the war. she went through a lot. she tells her story, she speaks out in the name of peace and disarmament. she had i think the quote that sums up what cameron was saying and what subject was saying about war. she said very simply, i think peace, the basic idea of peace is to have some understanding of other people's pain. and i think that is very true. >> will clifton truman daniel it is been a pleasure to have you share some time with us on the 75th anniversary of hiroshima. thank you so much for being.
here >> thank you i appreciate the opportunity. weeknights this month we're featuring american history television programs in the preview what's available every weekend on c-span three. friday night eight eastern and look at hiroshima, nagasaki and the end of world war ii. for the 75th anniversary of hiroshima. we'll show your documentary showing the august six 1945 atomic bombing of hiroshima japan. through the series stories of several survivors. we're trying to make sense of the tragedy during the 50th anniversary. and joy american history tv this week and every weekend on c-span three. american history tv on c-span three. exploring the people and events to tell the american story every weekend. coming up this weekend. sunday marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic
bombing of nagasaki japan. three days after the bombing in hiroshima. and american history and washington journal live at nine eastern. and the aftermath in the decades. ahead with richard frank, author of downfall, the end of the imperial japanese empire. and peter cosmic. we'll take your calls, texts, facebook questions and tweets. at 4 pm eastern on real america, in 1946 film. a facts of the atomic bomb on her shin and nagasaki. and 1000 cranes. documenting the origins of hiroshima's peace park. then the 75th anniversary of the potsdam conference where the new president harry truman informed winston churchill of england and so joseph stalin of the soviet union about the new u.s. superweapon. exploring the american story. watch american history tv. this weekend on c-span three.