2020: The Atomic Plague, 1945

Hiroshima & Nagasaki 2020  -  75 Jahre danach
Source:  Cambridge University Press 978-0-521-71826-4 -
Rebel Journalism: The Writings of Wilfred Burchett. Edited by George Burchett and Nick Shimmin. Excerpt

I  The Atomic Plague [1945]

On 6 August 1945, as I shuffled along in the ‘chow line’ for lunch withfifty or so weary marines at a company cookhouse in Okinawa, a radio wasspluttering away with no one paying attention to it as usual . . . I strainedmy ears to pick up a few snatches from the radio – enough to learn that theworld’s first A-bomb had been dropped on a place called Hiroshima.1

Wilfred Burchett’s international reputation as a journalist and war correspondentwasbuilt upon one of the great scoops of 20th century reportage. After thesecond atomic bomb was dropped on Japan in August 1945 and the Japanesehad announced their surrender, the Americans issued accreditation to severalhundred correspondents to report on the signing of the surrender documents.All the accredited journalists dutifully made their way to the USS Missouri,but Burchett ‘slipped the leash’ and in the small hours of the morning of2 September 1945, he boarded a train for Hiroshima.

The story of his journey to the bomb site and his efforts to get the despatch toLondon is one of the epic tales of modern journalism. General MacArthur hadnot yet sent official US Army journalists to the bomb site to manufacture apropaganda story (they arrived while Burchett was there), and so the followingreport was the first independent account of the results of the nuclear attack toappear anywhere in the world.

The impact of the following article onworld opinion and the subsequent debateabout nuclear weapons cannot be overestimated. ...

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