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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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Countdown 1945

 

FOXニュースのアンカーChris WallaceによるCountdown 1945を読み始めました。この本は今年の6月に出て雑誌TIMEにも取り上げられていましたが、FOXニュースということで毛嫌いしてスルーしていました。ただ先月トランプに厳しいインタビューをしていたのを見て彼を見直し、読んでみようという気になった次第です。

この本がどういうものかはこの動画を見るとわかりますが、トルーマンがFDRの急死によって大統領になってから原爆を落とすまでの116日を普通のアメリカ人や日本人の登場人物も交えてカウントダウン方式で描いたものです。トルーマンは大統領になるまで原爆開発のマンハッタンプロジェクトを知らされてなかったとか。。。下記リンク先も詳しく本を紹介してくれています。

CBS NEWS June 7, 2020, 9:36 AM

でも原爆を扱っているだけに真っ先に知りたくなるのは著者の立場。こちらの動画ではっきり述べているようによく聞く擁護論を語っています。トルーマン大統領は米軍を上陸させて本土決戦で多くの犠牲者を出すよりは原爆投下で戦争を終結させることを迷うことなく選んだということです。加えて長崎への投下は必要だったのかという更なる問いには降伏をしなかった日本政府の方を責めています。



そのあたりのことはこちらの書評でも述べられています。

Avid Reader Press June 9th, 2020

But there is a difference between morality and reality. Using the facts laid out in this book and counting down the events, it appears President Truman made the correct decision.  After all, it is the Japanese government that should be blamed.  First, America gave a warning to the Japanese with the Potsdam Declaration, stating if Japan did not surrender, it would face “prompt and utter destruction.” Leaflets over populated Japanese cities were dropped warning of the devastation.  Then the first atomic bomb was dropped on August 6th, 1945.  But Japan still did not surrender.  Russia entered the war on August 8th, 1945, yet Japan still did not surrender.  Three days after the first bomb was dropped the second bomb was dropped on August 9th, 1945.  

Wallace noted, “I came away with the belief that Truman really had no choice. In fact, even after the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki the Japanese government still did not want to surrender.  It was only after Emperor Hirohito going over the head of the militants and telling the Japanese people it is time to surrender that they finally did.  A number of people, including Dwight Eisenhower, who was against dropping the bomb, pointed out that even after the dropping of the first bomb the Japanese still did not surrender. As horrific as it was, the Japanese were given a demonstration, the bombing of Hiroshima, and they still did not surrender. So why would someone think with just a pure demonstration that they would have surrendered.  As I point out in the book, we gave the Japanese plenty of opportunities, especially days before dropping of the bomb.”

この本で取り上げられている日本人はHideko Tamura Sniderさん。今週のDemocracy NowやTimeの記事でも登場されていました。英語で被曝体験を語ることのできる方は貴重なのでしょう。



BY ANNA PURNA KAMBHAMPATY  AUGUST 6, 2020 9:15 AM EDT

It was sunny and beautiful in Hiroshima on the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, recalls Hideko Tamura Snider: “It was the happiest morning.”

Just a day earlier, Snider and her best friend Miyoshi had convinced their mothers to let them return to the Japanese city from a mountain village where they had gone to avoid potential air raids from Allied forces in World War II. Snider, who was then in sixth grade, was elated to be home when she parted ways with her friend, looking forward to playing with each other soon. The next day, at 8:15 am, the world’s first deployed atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima by the U.S. aircraft Enola Gay, instantly killing an estimated 70,000 people—including Snider’s mother.

“From the outside of the city, I understand a mushroom-shaped cloud developed,” Snider says. “We were inside of the mushroom, where it was pitch dark.”

原爆投下がどのようになされたのか、当時の状況を知っておくことは重要なことでしょう。



この著者の立場に対して日本人として不満に思う方もいるでしょうが、一番重要なメッセージとしてレーガン大統領のA nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.を引いていましたのでコアの部分では共感できるでしょう。今の若い子たちには冷戦時代の核の恐怖も合わせて伝えられると良いのですが。。。 



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