Censored Nagasaki Report Revealed

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The Chicago Daily News’s George Weller was the first American reporter to view the aftermath of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Weller’s report, censored by Douglas MacArthur, was discovered by Weller’s son in 2003. Japan’s Mainichi Daily News runs the report (after several US papers turned it town, according to the son). Excerpts:

In swaybacked or flattened skeletons of the Mitsubishi arms plants is revealed what the atomic bomb can do to steel and stone, but what the riven atom can do against human flesh and bone lies hidden in two hospitals of downtown Nagasaki. Look at the pushed-in facade of the American consulate, 3 miles from the blast’s center, or the face of the Catholic cathedral, 1 mile in the other direction, torn down like gingerbread, and you can tell that the liberated atom spares nothing in the way.

Several children, some burned, and others unburned but with patches of hair falling out, are sitting with their mothers. Some adults are in pain as they lie on mats. They moan softly. One woman caring for her husband shows eyes dim with tears. Vink (a Dutch medical officer) points out a woman on a yellow mat in hospital. She lies moaning with a blackish mouth stiff as though with lockjaw and unable to utter clear words. Her exposed legs and arms are speckled with tiny red spots in patches. According to Japanese doctors, patients with these late developing symptoms are dying now a month after the bombs fell, at a rate of about 10 daily.

The atomic bomb’s peculiar ‘disease,’ uncured because it is untreated and untreated because it is not diagnosed, is still snatching away lives here. Men, women and children with no outward marks of injury are dying daily in hospitals, some after having walked around for three or four weeks thinking they have escaped. The doctors here have every modern medicament, but candidly confessed the answer to the malady is beyond them.

9:32 am on June 23, 2005