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今年で70周年

 
海外で原爆の恐怖を伝えたルポータジュJohn HerseyによるHiroshimaが出版されたのが雑誌New Yorkerの1946年8月31日号だそうで、ちょうど今週70週年になることをBBCの記事で知りました。

How John Hersey's Hiroshima revealed the horror of the bomb
22 August 2016
From the section 
Magazine

At the end of this month 70 years will have passed since the publication of a magazine story hailed as one of the greatest pieces of journalism ever written. Headlined simply Hiroshima, the 30,000-word article by John Hersey had a massive impact, revealing the full horror of nuclear weapons to the post-war generation, as Caroline Raphael describes.

事実としての原爆というものがありますが、それがどのように伝えられたのかということを知ることも大切でしょう。この記事を読むと海外では原爆の恐ろしさはまずJohn HerseyのHiroshimaを通じて知ったことがわかります。当時の英国は新聞などが配給制のため3万語という長いHerseyの記事は掲載できずBBCがラジオ番組の朗読で紹介したそうです。

Hiroshima was the first publication to make the man on the San Francisco trolleybus and the woman on the Clapham omnibus confront the miseries of radiation sickness, to understand that you could survive the bomb and still die from its after effects. John Hersey in his calm unflinching prose reported what those who had survived had witnessed. As the nuclear arms race began, just three months after the testing of further atom bombs at Bikini Atoll, the true power of the new weapons began to be understood.

Such were the reverberations of Hersey's article, and Albert Einstein's very public support for it, that Henry Stimson who had been US Secretary for War wrote a magazine article in reply, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb - a defiant justification for the use of the bomb, whatever the consequences.

News of the extraordinary article had been reported in Britain, but it was too long to publish - John Hersey would not allow it to be edited and newsprint was still rationed. So the BBC followed American radio's lead and about six weeks later it was read out over four consecutive nights on the new Third Programme, despite some concern among senior managers about the emotional impact on listeners.

The Radio Times commissioned Alistair Cooke to write a long background piece. Alluding to its publication in The New Yorker, renowned as the home of witty cartoons, he called it "the deadliest joke of our age".


これによりアインシュタインなどによる核兵器反対運動が高まり、米国政府はHenry Stimsonを使って原爆使用の弁明をしなければいけない流れになったようです。それぞれこのブログで取り上げていますが、ようやく二つをつなげて理解できました。

John HerseyのHiroshima(1946年)

Henry Stimsonの原爆投下の弁明(1947年)

BBCの記事も読み応えありますが、ラジオ番組もあり、1948年の当時の音源を聴くこともできます。

Hersey's Hiroshima

Hiroshima(1948年当時の音源)

実際に何が起こったかということ、当時はどのように受け止められたかということは区別して考えたいです。記事にもありましたが米国占領政府は原爆の被害を訴える記事は日本国内で禁止されていて、Hiroshimaも例外でなかったそうですから。当時の日本人は原爆の恐ろしさの全貌を掴むことは難しかったのでしょう。

By November, Hiroshima was published in book form. It was translated quickly into many languages and a braille edition was released. However, in Japan, Gen Douglas MacArthur - the supreme commander of occupying forces, who effectively governed Japan until 1948 - had strictly prohibited dissemination of any reports on the consequences of the bombings. Copies of the book, and the relevant edition of The New Yorker, were banned until 1949, when Hiroshima was finally translated into Japanese by the Rev Mr Tanimoto, one of Hersey's six survivors.
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Yuta

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