This survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb – which was dropped just 1.5 miles from her home – has talked about how she saw a flash of light and was knocked off her feet.
Keiko Ogura, 82, survived the United States’ atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6th August 1945 and she has now spoken of the horrors of the aftermath of the bomb as she approaches the 40th anniversary of her becoming an activist.
Ogura was eight years old when the atomic bomb was dropped just 1.5 miles from her home.
However, she survived as this distance was too far for her to be killed instantly.
She has now told reporters that after she saw a flash, she was knocked off her feet by the blast from the bomb.
She continued that she was walking after the bomb had gone off when somebody on the ground grabbed her ankle and asked for some water with a weak voice. She then saw a woman covered in soot and blood and she ran home to get water for the woman and the other dying people around her.
Ogura said that after the victims drank the water they died right in front of her eyes and she did not realise water should not be given to people with severe burns.
Ogura became an activist in 1980, when she acted as an interpreter for the Jewish journalist Robert Jungk, who was writing about the bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Four years later she set up Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace to translate the stories of the A-bomb survivors and guide foreign visitors at the Peace Memorial Park, located near the site where the bomb was dropped.
She also takes active participation in sharing her stories in English as the leader of this volunteer group.
She said that foreigners are usually surprised at her stories and often tell her that they “didn’t know anything” about it.
She told local media: “We cannot justify the cruelty of nuclear weapons. I want them (young people) to become smart leaders who make the world a peaceful place, not only with knowledge but with passion.”
Ogura says that all A-bomb survivors have traumatic memories that they cannot share with anyone.
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Story By: Marija Petrovska, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: AsiaWire Report
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