Who was the man who survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki

A Japanese engineer was at the wrong time and place. That is Tsutomu Yamaguchithe only known victim who survived the nuclear bomb launched without prior notice by the United States on Hiroshima Y Nagasaki in August 1945, within the framework of the Second World War.

On a business trip to Hiroshima, it was the first time he had experienced terror up close. On August 6, 1945 Tsutomu Yamaguchi He was seriously injured with burns all over his body, after the explosion of the nuclear bomb occurred three kilometers away.

On that occasion, he was walking down the street while fulfilling his work obligations, when he suddenly found himself surrounded by a new black woman. Then he looked at the fire, heard the screams, and collapsed. Upon waking up after a few hours, he noticed that his ears were ringing and his eyes were covered with blood; Under these conditions, he arrived at an improvised care post for the wounded.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a Japanese engineer who lived through the terror in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But that was not all, since three days laterwhen he returned to his hometown of Nagasaki -300 kilometers from Hiroshima- to escape the tragedy, he relived the nightmare when he witnessed a nuclear detonation, at a distance similar to that in the previous episode (3 kilometers from the center of the explosion) and again was able to save his life.

However, despite still being alive, death was once again present in front of him as a result of what entered through his eyes: mutilated bodies, rubble from the destroyed buildings and fire everywhere.

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Adding the instant casualties of the two bombs (80,000 in Hiroshima and 50,000 in Nagasaki) and the people who died in subsequent years from the aftermath of radiation, the deceased reached 250,000. All of this made the trauma mute him and war and nuclear explosions became a taboo subject.

Only in 2005, at the age of 89, Tsutomu Yamaguchi was encouraged to talk about the worst experiences of his life. Even his voice reached the United Nations Organization (UN)where he described what he had lived through, promoting peace.

The July 4, 2010 He died of stomach cancer, leaving a message against war and the ravages it causes in society, and becoming an activist against the creation of nuclear weapons.

77 years after the atomic bomb: recognition and request to abolish nuclear weapons

It was only in 2009, 64 years after the tragedy, that the Japanese government also recognized Yamaguchi as a survivor of the Hiroshima bomb. It was then that he was included in the list of the “hibakusha”and thereby became the only person to have survived the events of World War II.

Although it was officially recognized by the government of your country, there would be other cases that were not declared. It is that according to the Hiroshima Peace Museum, it is estimated that there could have been 165 people who went through the same experience as Tsutomu Yamaguchi.

The launch of atomic bombs by the United States was decisive for World War II. (Photo: AP)
The launch of atomic bombs by the United States was decisive for World War II. (Photo: AP)

Regarding the fight against nuclear weapons, in June of this year, a group of “hibakusha” asked in Vienna that the nuclear powers eliminate their atomic arsenals, so that Hiroshima and Nagasaki do not happen again. This happened in a forum organized by the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

The ICAN conference brings together politicians, experts and members of civil society to address the prohibition of atomic weapons, and serves as a prologue to the first conference of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

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The seven “hibakusha” agreed on their request, since this treaty has not been signed by the United States, France, China, the United Kingdom and Russia, with the right to veto in the United Nations; nor by Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea; nor by NATO members or even Japan.

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Who was the man who survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki