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Children of the Ashes: The People of Hiroshima After the by Robert Jungk; Constantine FitzGibbon (tr.); James Cameron

By Robert Jungk; Constantine FitzGibbon (tr.); James Cameron (Introduction)

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Sample text

When Hamai showed absolutely no sign of being discouraged or indeed in any way moved by this argument, the officer lost his temper: 'Just in case it hasn't been drawn to your attention, I think I should tell you that we happen to have lost the war! ' Then he turned sharply on his heel and with his back to his visitor proceeded to gaze out of the window. For him the conversation was over. Hamai said not a word. ' and awaited the next outburst. With him waited the tens of thousands urgently in need of the clothes that would enable them to survive the coming winter.

Thus for example what is now Hiroshima's leading shoe shop acquired its original stock (and with it a sort of monopoly that lasted for several months) from just such a treasure trove. The task of taking over such stocks and depots as had not yet been looted, and ensuring their proper distribution among the populace, fell to Shinzo Hamai, a municipal official who had proved his abilities in the critical days that followed the dropping of the bomb. Catastrophes, like wars and revolutions, will suddenly thrust hitherto unknown men into high office and make them the leaders of their threatened society.

This is now advanced as an excuse for the evil deeds of today ... "' ORPHANS AND GANGSTERS 1 One morning Kazuo M. found that his army boots - which had been issued to him, as to all the other survivors, from former military supply depots - were missing. He immediately suspected the Jutyji, those homeless orphans who were roaming the ruins and suburbs of Hiroshima in their thousands. Only the elder ones among them had actually experienced the catastrophe, for almost all children under the age of eleven had been evacuated along with their school-teachers to villages far away in the country long before the bomb was dropped.

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