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tv   American Artifacts Hiroshima- Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibit  CSPAN  August 9, 2020 10:02am-10:34am EDT

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announcer: -- watch "the contenders" next week. 1844ing on monday, presidential candidate henry clay. >> we visit a hiroshima and nagasaki atomic bomb exhibit at american university in washington, d.c. this program was recorded in 2015.
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-- this was an attempt by the smithsonian to do an honest and balanced exhibit about the decision to drop the bomb and the consequences of the atomic bombing. this was the 50th anniversary. i decidedst of that, with one of my students who -- whose mother and grandmother survived the bombing, and her grandfather died my we decided to was going to do something special to commemorate the 50th anniversary. plus, bring students to kyoto and hiroshima. while we were planning this, the smithsonian exhibit got canceled , so the museums here in nagasaki asked if we could bring some of those artifacts to
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american university and do another exhibit here on the 50th anniversary. that was the first time the bomb exhibits had been -- outside of japan. this is the 20th anniversary of our exhibit and the original bombing, so we decided to do it again. we combine artifacts from hiroshima and nagasaki with six of this that 15 of these fabulous panels. these are historic panels and they can be compared to the -- or the rape of the sabine women, or other classic paintings of that sort. this is the first time they have been to the united states since 1995. we have brought them here and put them together with these artifacts, children's drawing from hiroshima. was the origin of our
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exhibit in 1995. 20 years later, we've got a more elaborate exhibit, the most elaborate exhibit on the bombing's ever held. it is overwhelming. i can't tell you have any people have written to me and said it left them in tears. most famousof the images out of nagasaki. this is a young girl, and she looks -- dazed. ,he is holding a rice ball there is blood on her face. she's got a look in her eyes, gaze. forlorn distant like so many other people, she didn't know what happened to her. some of the people who had lived through the bombing said they were sure the bomb had landed on their house and they figured that is what had happened. they run outside and they saw
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that all of hiroshima, all of nagasaki was ablaze and the fires were coming toward them. the panels one of called fire, this is what it was like for survivors. next to this, we've got a crucifix. crucifixes lot of that are considered symbolic, especially in nagasaki. bomb missed the original target by almost two miles and landed above the cathedral. nagasaki had not been bumped before this. there was a small bombing in 1944, but it had been preserved in pristine condition because the americans wanted to have a pristine target to show the effects of the atomic bomb. they had not bombed nagasaki and people in nagasaki thought they had not been bombed because it was the christian capital of east asia.
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it was a big surprise. bomb was right over the cathedral. you can also see the stopwatch there. the pocket watch. 8:15. that is a very popular image inside hiroshima. the bomb dropped at 8:15 am in hiroshima. the clocks stopped, the watch is. it dropped at 11:02 in nagasaki. our first exhibited 1995, many of those now replicable's were the original artifacts. some of them are so fragile that the museums have decided not to let them outside of japan anymore. theseat reason, some of have got replicas instead of the originals. almost everything is the original. here are thegot
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famous mushroom clouds. the photo of the mushroom cloud in here oshima august 6, 1945 and nagasaki. the descriptions of them from people on the plane was that it was like a pillar of flames. shot into the air. expanding.ept from the top of the pillar you see these additional bursts and they keep going up. enormous. the crew of the enola gay said they could see the clouds from four hours away. they can still see the cloud looking back. it was so. there was a lot of radioactive debris that was swept up in the cloud. some of that comes down as black rain on the victims. got the view of here is shiva city. bomb wast for the here, the t-shaped bridge.
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i thought pup pilots would be able to see that clearly from the sky. missedb drifted ended the target and landed over here above -- hospital. this is probably the most famous symbol. this is the old industrial prefecture building. it is now called the atomic bomb elting. this has been preserved. this has all been built up. -- has been preserved as a peace park. you can see everything is devastated. iny met estimated two miles each direction was completely destroyed. if you were two miles away, your house could have been destroyed. remember, this was by modern standards a tiny, primitive bomb. the bomb dropped on hiroshima, we estimate to have been 16
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kilotons and destructive capability. the bomb that dropped on nagasaki we estimate 21 to 22 kilotons. bombs thatveloped are so much bigger. by 1954, holding congressional inrings for project sundial which scientific leaders were laying out plans to build a bomb 700,000 times as powerful as the hiroshima bomb. it is insane. that was the future they were holding out. this is what we walk into with our eyes wide open. this is what this little bonded at here oshima. did a look at what the bomb on nagasaki. this bomb was a little bit bigger but the casualties were smaller. byasaki was surrounded mountains on both sides.
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the effect of the bomb was contained, they are blast was contained by the mountains. nagasaki was in the valley between the mountains. the hiroshima bomb, the estimates are now that 150,000 dead by the end of 1945. 200,000 dead by the end of 1950. the estimates for nagasaki are 70,000 dead by the end of 1945, 100 40,000 dead by 1950. the hiroshima bomb is a uranium bomb. the nagasaki bomb was a plutonium bomb. here we have got some of the more human artifacts. we've got the shoe of a young student, 13-year-old boy. who was killed in the bombing. we've got this hat of a junior high school student. who was killed. the water bottle of another who wasy, 13 years old
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killed when the bomb exploded. the we have got one of replicas. this is a replica of the lunchbox from that 12-year-old girl who totally disappeared, no trace was ever found of her. carbonized rice and peas. her mother was able to identify that as her but could not find a trace of her daughter. was she adjusted that if they wanted to cancel the big enola gay and they wanted to limit it. they should show two artifacts. when was the enormous plane, the other was the lunchbox of this 12-year-old girl. they thought that that would message about what the atomic bombs were really about.
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of course that was the last thing in the world they were going to display. didn't want the photographs of the victims, the american military leaders. they don't want that controversy. here's a more historical panel. i would like the whole exhibit about the contest, the decision to drop the bomb. this has some of the important information about the manhattan project that was started to build a bomb as a deterrent against the possibility that the germans would get a bomb. terrified thate the prospect of hitler's getting the atomic bomb. they did not anticipate the bomb might be used against japan because japan did not have the scientific capability of building a bond during the war.
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this is a survey of potential targets. statesr that the united had been -- since march 9 through 10th when we firebombed tokyo. by the end of the war, three quarters of bomb loads were incendiary and could burn down japanese cities. overall, we bombed over 100 japanese cities. after we bombed the major cities, we bomb secondary cities that had no military significance. the discussion reached the city of --, and some leaders were appalled. secretary of war said president trump -- said of president truman, i don't want the u.s. to get the reputation for outdoing history -- outdoing hitler's in atrocities.
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>> this was about the decision to drop the bomb. i've got a section here about the reasons for using the bomb. the official narrative says the united states dropped the bomb to expedite the end of the war without having to invade. truman says an american invasion would cost half a million lives. the number keeps going up. thousands of lives come quarter million lives, the memoir says half a million. there is no record of that anywhere. that is the official narrative, we dropped the bomb to an void -- to avoid an invasion. there is no truth to that. there may be a little truth to that, but no basic truth. japanese,y was the from the battle of saipan onwards knew they could not win, but they hoped to get one more
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victory. the big obstacle to them was the emperor. they wanted to make sure they could keep the emperor. command aest pacific shooter ground briefing in 1945 the said the hanging of emperor would be like the crucifixion of christ. all would fight to die like ants. that is what macarthur understood. almost every advisor of truman had told him to let the japanese know they could keep the emperor. america planned all along to let them keep the emperor but we refused to signal that, we were calling for unconditional surrender. what else was going to possibly end the war? ad y'all talk, roosevelt got promise from stalin that three month after the eight end of the war in europe, the red army was going to come into the war against japan. truman said he went to potts dam in july to meet with churchill
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and stalin to make sure the soviets were coming in. he gets the agreement from the soviets of the first day of the conflict. stalin will be in the poor by august 15. he writes home the next day that the russians are coming in, the war will be ending sooner now. think of all the boys who won't be killed. truman also under the japanese were trying to surrender. he describes the intercept of the telegram as the telegram of jap emperor. american intelligence reported repeatedly that the entry of the soviet union into the war would convince all japanese that complete defeat is inevitable. is, why truman, who was not bloodthirsty, not hitler's, he did not take pleasure in killing people, why
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would truman use the atomic bombs knowing the japanese were defeated and trying to surrender? knowing they were not militarily necessary? we assume a big part of his motivation was that he was sending a message to the soviets. if the soviets interfered with american plans in europe or asia, this is the state they were going to get. -- the soviets interpreted that way. suddenly the day of judgment was tomorrow. and has been ever since. that is the reality we have been confronted with. that is what makes the atomic bombing so important. not just that hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children were killed unnecessarily, but the fact that the human species has lived with this sword of damocles hanging over our heads. that possibility is still today. we've got nuclear weapons in the
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world. we've had this conflict with the russians over ukraine. u.s. and russia still have thousands of nuclear weapons on hairtrigger alert pointed at each other. we are not playing games. the threat is real. that is why we wanted to to this exhibit. there were apparently several carrying cameras in hiroshima. only one is known to have taken any photos. get -- metoo she for hiroshima's newspaper. he had enough film to take 24 photos. they said it was too horrible. he ended up taking seven photos, had them developed. five of them have been preserved. he was very respectful. he did not want to show
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close-ups, horrible burns. should the people at the seeef stations, you can some of the fire in the background. you can see the destruction everywhere. this is 1.5 miles from -- center. he says it was like walking through hell. he said it was too horrific. on horrific to intrude people's privacy and suffering. no medicaleople with supplies, doctors were killed, nurses were killed. what you see here is just people in these -- stations p there was no medicine. there was nothing to treat them. some would put oil on the burns. within days, some were reporting maggots coming out of the wounds. it was just awful. the shots from nagasaki, people
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dying on the ground, on the mattresses. a woman breast-feeding her baby. there are lots of stories about women carrying around dead babies on their backs, trying to nurse their babies. got also these images of the charred corpses of some of the victims. what they said was that people ,ho were near the hyper center their internal organs boiled away and they quickly turned -- became carbonized. you can see the bodies. the bodies lying there, charred corpses. some of the people who were bank ammonia is have these patterns burned into their skin. -- some of the people who work -- kimonos. somebody completely disappeared
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on the steps of a bank. pretty sure that's hiroshima. he was sitting there. i got one friend in nagasaki who speaks to our group. he survived, obviously. he writes down the names of all of his family members and how far they were. not a single one was affected by the bomb, scarred, injured or burned. he's got the names of them and how -- in the hyper center. one by one he crosses them out. he says over the course of weeks, one by one would die of radiation poisoning. we have these purple spots all over the body. terrible diarrhea. your hair would fall out. he would become sick. cases in which family members, or friends came into hiroshima after the bombing looking for their relatives, friends. several days after, they would die.
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of radiation sickness. so many experts say the effects of radiation were gone quickly, and a lot of evidence to suggest that was not the case. this was above the shema hospital that the bomb actually the elementaryis school in nagasaki. in the elementary school, most all of the teachers and students were killed. take my students now every year on the morning of august 9 ceremony, a initial private ceremony at the elementary school. students who now attend the elementary school come there and they have this special piece commemoration ceremony, a very moving ceremony with the school. students, you realize that is who the victims
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-- congregants of all souls unitarian church in washington, d.c. sent art at --es to students elementary school in hiroshima. the students there used the art supplies at a time when there were little supplies of any sort in hiroshima or nagasaki after the bombing. studentseports of living as street urchins, basically. they were orphaned. they had to put up these makeshift shelters. the fact that just getting art supplies is a huge thing. in gratitude, they sent back drawing then paintings to the starts --on and also i understand these were lost for a long time and we discovered --
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the members of the church, some went back to hiroshima recently and met with some of the kids. there is a nice book and documentary made by my friend about this. ♪ >> [video clip] >> [speaking foreign language] i (202) 748-8002 (202) 748-8002 thought it would add >>-- -- i thoughtwhat of without a nice touch. the human side of americans reached out to people and hero shema and the gratitude on the part of the children who received those gifts. the -- were famous japanese artists. who came into the city of hiroshima days after the bombings and saw the horrors.
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he decided to do a series of .anels the first one was called ghosts. image ofhows is the hiroshima afterwards. people who experience it said they were walking through hell. people nakedere, walking with her harms -- with their arms held in front of them to lessen the pain a little bit. often with skin hanging down because the close blown off by the blast and the fire. this procession of naked people, some said you couldn't tell men from women as they were walking. you see this image here, the shock, the horror, the suffering. after the bombings. panel is called fire.
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it shows that the fire was everywhere and spreading rapidly. people try to escape the fire. meant,caping the fire this was the reality for so many survivors, it meant they would have to leave others behind and they would have to ignore their people trapped in their houses. in ordero were injured to escape. there are so many tragic stories about children leaving their parents behind or parents leaving the children behind in order to escape as the flames were encroaching. people stayed with relatives and friends rather than leave. the gallery told me i could choose any six of the 15 panels i wanted.
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i decided i wanted to complicate the narrative. not just portray the japanese as victims of the atomic
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in the beginning, they focus just on japanese victims. then the consciousness began expanding and they start to show the japanese as also victimizers , and they have one panel on the rape of nan jing. they've got one on auschwitz. they are trying to make this a broader human story. in 1968.done later the title is "floating lantern." if you go to hero shema, as i do with my students, we participate on the evening of our biggest --
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the evening of august 6 in the floating lantern ceremony. the river is symbolically important because so many people jumped in the river to escape the flames or to cool their bodies because they had been badly burned. many of them died. all of these descriptions at the river, there is just a sea of floating corpses. with the people didn't hear oshima to commemorate it is they hold the lantern ceremony. it is now no longer restricted to families of victims. what you do is make a paper lantern, put a candle inside. on the lantern you write a message of peace or anything you would like. you go down and get the long wind -- the long line that winds around the peace park and you put your lantern into the water. it is very beautiful at night. ma was playing.
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that made it more special. this is a depiction of the lanterns as they are floating in the river. ♪ announcer: we are featuring american history tv programs and a preview of what is available every weekend on c-span3. monday, a look at the uss indianapolis. 2 japanese40 5, torpedoes sunk the indianapolis in shark infested waters. only 317 survived. the 75th anniversary of the ship sinking, congress awarded the entire crew the congressional gold medal, its highest civilian honor. watch monday night at 8:00
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eastern and enjoy "american history tv" every weekend on c-span3. acting homeland security secretary chad wolf was on capitol hill to respond to his agency's response to program -- protesters. he rejected the idea that agents were attacking peaceful protesters. the hearing is two hours. >> this hearing will come to order. i want to thank acting secretary will for his service and for taking the time to come before our committee. i know you have got a lot of things on your plate. i think the committee does appreciate coming in and explaining what has


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