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tv   Reel America A Thousand Cranes - The Children of Hiroshima - 1962  CSPAN  August 8, 2020 10:31pm-10:57pm EDT

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passage of time. slowly but surely, efforts towards construction are being made. insufficient the studies the scientists may have been. they have given light to the cities and the citizens. theext on 'reel america" children of your shema. american betty jean lifton was inspired to make this film after -- and the summer of 1962, and learning that cancer from radiation was continuing to affect atomic bomb survivors and their children. the film documents the origins of hiroshima park and tell us the story of how handmade paper cranes became a symbol of peace and remember it's for the
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victims of the august 6, 1945 bombing of the city. remembrance for the victims of the august 6, 1945 bombing of the city. ♪ betty: in japan, there is an old saying that the crane can move for 1000 years. cranes,ull 1000 paper they will protect you. the bombs fell on a hero shema, 1945, the people folded paper cranes.
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today in hiroshima, men, women and children are still folding paper cranes. especially children. and they are still suffering from radiation effects of the bomb. what's it like to be a child in hiroshima so many years after the war? these children look like children anywhere. the monument behind them is dedicated to the 70,000 people known to have died from the bomb. ashough estimates go as high 200,000 or more. it was 8:15 on a hot summer morning much like this one, when that first bomb flashed the sky
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and destroyed the city and its flaming heat. while children played in front of the park of the peace museum, there is grim testimony of what the bomb did to the first city that experienced it. when they walk home from school to the part, the children can see the atomic dome in the distance. it was once the industrial exhibition hall. leftt is the only show from the atomic blast. but all children make their way to the children's monument in the park. this person died from leukemia at the age of 12. 10 years after the bomb fell. paper cranesbring and offerings to the monument.
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this young woman was a friend of his. they would have been the same age if he had lived. but he has already become a legend in japan. he is the anne frank of hiroshima. remembered for her tragic death from radiation effects. she was just one of hundreds of people to suffer such a fate. but she became the symbol of them all. in her outstretched arms, she .olds a golden crane who was she? she might have been just an old girl gossiping on the river then if she had lived. she was just two years old when the bomb fell one mile from her home. grade classer sixth
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and go swimming when suddenly she developed leukemia. she laughed and sang bravely when her classmates came to visit her. she would fold paper cranes. to make 1000 but she reached only 964 when she died. no more summer hiking, no more swimming. and then, as if the death of hers symbolized all of theirs, the children of your shema rose up together to do something about it. they raised money for this monument, to demand the grown-up -- to remind the grown-up world what a bomb can do to the young. every morning the crane looks down to the city.
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school beingursery rebuilt after the war. it seems like such a normal thing, but the teacher reports on her days off to the hospital for blood transfusion. round and round, the terrible memory of that day of the bombs still goes in her head. the crane knows that this popular teacher has anemia. she was at home, a little over a mile from the explosion. when she was in the sixth grade her bones begin to bleed. an third-grader junior high school she became in the make and was diagnosed with anemia for the past five years being in
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and out of hospitals. she does not talk about the past. her father was wounded in the post office when the bomb fell, and died one year later. one of her sisters was never found. she doesn't talk about the future either. that other japanese do not like to marry the survivors. they consider them tainted. they want women in the family who will produce healthy children. children maywith be all she will ever have in her uncertain life. a crane looks down over this little girl. three years ago her mother suddenly became ill and then she
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died of leukemia. they were she cannot understand. this is her picture, taken just before she died at the age of 27. her mother was only 13 when the bomb fell. she was not hurt at the time. effects in her body would someday separate her from her beloved child. if this wasot know inherited. her brother was only 16 when he died of leukemia six years ago. poor payingecame his medical expenses. now her father makes glass cases for dolls. familyes he and his could live in the project --
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protected world of dolls. but he cannot forget his lost son. they were born three years after the war. she wanted to have an organ that her family saves to get her. she said she often thinks about her brother when she prays. her brother entered the city a week after the bomb fell. exposednly from an supply depot. after that he was never well. the doctor said it might have been from the exposed hand food. foodother, who also it the is weak. weakness is one of the symptoms most survivors seem to have.
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swollen and is also she complains of internal pain. she likes to work with her mother. if only his suffering is not in vain, she says. cranes, show my piece on your wings, and you shall fraught -- fly all over the world. she has joined a group of your shema children dedicated to peace. they call themselves the crane club. until recently, a light has been shed behind the atomic home. wife and him are both on survivors. the folded crane club.
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some men are meant to be the conscious of their time. of -- each wearing a white hat is one of them. he's like a pied piper to the children of your shema. -- tune he plays is that children of your shema. the tune -- hiroshima. the tune he plays is that everyone must work in the world. they are working for the survivors in the hospital. they also write letters to the heads of state into the united nation, pleading for universal care. she earned some money selling. they met and a bible class where they struggled to find some meaning in the disaster that came to that city.
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they were permanently crippled when the impact of the blast swept her unconscious -- left her unconscious outside her home. although they love children, they want some of their own. she does not happen because of the two deformed babies born to her sister. the risk ofe producing monstrosities, she says. he was outside the city when the bomb fell, but he came in immediately with a rescue team and was exposed with radiation. the children know he is weak but they cannot persuade him. perhaps thisking will be the one to convince the one that there must never be another nuclear war.
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they have nothing for themselves. , books on the folded crane club, a school picture. they have other children who have died since the war. this dark, unheeded check under the rubble of their cities has become the children's spiritual home. and always, the atomic home is there were my -- atomic dome is their reminder of what the city looks like after a nuclear attack. are the survivors of a nuclear attack luckier than the dead?
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the atomic bomb hospital is still filled with survivors needing checkup for treatment. the crane club comes here regularly. but are the children of your shema really children -- hiroshima really children? and atomic bomb wipes their wipedood in an instant out of the city. today's children's hospital is a familiar place. he was stationed in hiroshima in the army when the bomb fell. at the time he was not armed. but seven years ago he experienced internal pain. he gets blood now twice a week. he has been here for three years
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, but the doctors do not tell him when he can go home. meantime, he makes boats, which he gives to visitors. he tells the children to stay. in their motive is a work for peace. -- stay pure in their motive as they work for peace. they have been in the hospital for the past two years. her leg was injured in the bombing, but now she has kindled dash kidney trouble and a frequent bouts of john does. her husband died of cancer due to the radiation effects. her children are living in an orphanage until she can care for them. but when will that be? other countries what a bomb can do, she says. tell them to work for peace.
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this is her children in the orphanage. the oldest girl always reads their mothers letters to the youngest sister. dear children, i hope you are well and enjoying yourself. she is always thinking of the two days a month she can visit her mother. the little one likes to talk of a day they will live together in a house of their own. she does not say anything. she understands that her mother will be too weak to work even if she gets out of the hospital. have many more years of this orphanage. she can look out to the inland, to the island of her shema --
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hiroshima. it was emerged in darkness after the world -- war. it was founded in 1946 when a teacher noticed thousands of orphans were hanging along the railroad station, taking part in racketeering and prostitution. on september 90 when out for the truck and there were 60 orphans at the station. left, buty 43 roles they were the original ones to come to the island. only one of those boys is still on the island. teaching woodworking on the left. he was 10 years old when he arrived after the first night. now he is 27. widow, was killed on her way to work.
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he became separated from his brother and sister in the confusion of those chaotic weeks. he still does not know if they are alive. after many memories he hopes these orphans do what he did as a child. his group has all gun hiroshima to make their way -- all gone back to hiroshima to make their way. he says he feels apart from the children and they had never known the nightmares of children living through an atomic last -- blast. he likes to climb the hill to visit the grave.
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he took off his hat on request and asked if his hair looked all right from the back. he was really asking if it was long enough to hide the scars. half of his body was burned. forces himself to believe he has no radiation damage. but it's always there. city has been burned can be rebuilt, so could a man's scar tissue, but his mind cannot get rid of that. it has become an emotional condition as much as a physical. over the years he has looked out
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over the mainland, how he would like to forget hiroshima. on the surface it would be so easy to forget. most of its population of 450,000 is made of outsiders who rushed in to take it vantage of the frontier conditions. for 75s the rumor that years, trees and flowers would never grow again in hiroshima. they are growing. the shadow of fear it still hangs over the 90,000 survivors. of leukemia, fear of cancer. fear of liver and blood damages. people of hiroshima walk the streets carrying these fears. this ony day they pass they soughteps
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refuge there. it's as if they were photographed for posterity. a reminder that after a nuclear blast, only the shadow of man remains. a shadow in the storm. the crane on top of the children's monument knows all these things. but he wants people in other countries to know about hiroshima and the bomb. tell everyone to work for peace, he says. tell them to make certain there will be no more hiroshima. tell them about the children's monument. tell them to put paper cranes together and they shall fly all over the world.
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tell them that they can form their own clubs for peace as the children of the folded crane club. that they too can wash away the world's ills. tell them it is up to the children of the world to sweep away our nuclear ashes. to sleep in peace. tell them on the night of august 6, the anniversary of the bomb, to think of. shema. .- to think of hiroshima on that night, the members of the folded crane club walk with lanterns. they placed them on the river for the spirits of the children who have died.
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on each lantern they write a they send them out with a personal prayer that they were living will keep their memory alive. led in a song are . father.k my give back my mother. give grandpa back. grandma back. give my son and daughter back. back my friends. give mankind back. give us back to each other. so long as this life less, give peace back to us.
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a peace that will never end. ♪ films can watch archival on public affairs in their entirety on our weekly series 'reel america.' saturday at 10:00 p.m. and sunday on 4:00 p.m. eastern here on american history tv. harlan twibleran recounts being a young officer after being stuck in shark infested waters. the crew had just delivered atomic bomb parts with a weapon
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that would be used on the city of the hiroshima. crew members, only 317 out of 1196, were not rescued for several days. the national world war ii museum recorded this interview. harlan: i was born in gilbert bill, massachusetts, march 10, 1922. >> you just recently had a birthday, huh? harlan: yup. >> did you grow up in gilbertville? harlan: the first 18 years i was in gilbertville, and i have not spent any time since then. >> is it where you would consider to be your hometown? harlan: it would be considered to be my hometown. >> how many brothers and sisters did you have growing up?


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