tv President Trumans Grandson Visits Hiroshima CSPAN September 1, 2015 5:00am-6:56am EDT
of japanese-american citizens who were in japan during world war ii. down on your screen is clifton truman daniel, eldest grandson of president truman. our viewers are about to go on a video tour on a trip you took this summer to hiroshima and nagasaki. how did this trip come back? >> it's a long time and coming. 14 years ago my son, wesley, he was in fourth grade at the time. he brought home a book about a real little girl living in hiroshima who was 2 years old when the bomb exploded.
she survived the bombing but contracted radiation-induced leukemia nine years later. if you fold 1,000 origami paper cranes, you were granted a wish. she wished to live. unfortunately it did not work. she died in 1955. i mentioned it in an article to a japanese journalist a couple of years later. it was read in japan. and i got a phone call from sodako's older brother who said he had seen the article. and we talked through an interpreter over the phone for a little while. and he said he would like to meet some day. and i said that would be fine. it took us about another six years. we finally met in new york at the world trade center memorial in may 2010. at that point he invited me to
come to hiroshima and nagasaki at some point. >> did you have expectations about what this trip would be all about for you? >> no. at the time i was just really -- i don't know what the word is. his wish was to invite me. his desire that i come and that this would be a good ideaed is is what won me over. it didn't take much persuading. but i at that point my expectations were wide open. >> was this an official trip or one or two people interested? >> that's exactly the right way to put it. two people interested. >> did that surprise you? >> yes. >> i was expecting the japanese
press coverage because i had been led to expect that. masahiro told me, in effect, look out. we have tried to arrange for a lot of press coverage. but it got play in the united states was a big surprise. >> with the lookout, there is going to be lots of press coverage. did you have any sense you would be used toward an aim or a goal? >> none at all. masahiro was the driving force behind this. his wish was to solely bring us together. and symbolically to bring our two today during this. i not even for a moment think he had any other motive >> who went on the trip with you. >> my wife and two sons wesley, 23, and gates, 15. >> tell me the logistics. >> we were there from august 1st to august 11th, which covers both anniversaries, august 6th in hiroshima. and august 9th in nagasaki.
and traveled between the cities by bullet train. so we were there for almost a full 10 days. >> was it your first trip to japan. >> first ever, yes. >> with what were your overall impressions? >> it's a beautiful country. i'm astounded they have to live on only 25% to 30% of those islands. that's the only inhabitable part. the rest is mountainous. it is beautiful houses, rice fields, very colorful. wesley, in bringing home that book years ago, not only brought him sadaok's story but he also brought japan into our house, including sushi, travel videos. we really began to enjoy the country from a distance. as i think a lot of americans do anyway with anime and japanese fashion and foods. >> and cell phones. >> yes. thank you to the japanese for the cell phones. so he really brought it into our home. and there were times during the
trip, although it was a serious visit, every once in a while we would just look around and go, we're in japan. and it was really nice to be in the country. >> you went to these two important cities which preserve the world in the country's country on the use of nuclear weapons. it's worth noting it is self-struggling with its piece of nuclear it is still in the meltdown of the reactor. how did that factor into the discussions you had with japanese. >> we met with a total of 24 survivors of hiroshima and nagasaki. very often in the conversation about their experience, 67 years ago came the current issues with the fukushima plant and the radiation. that sort of rocked them to the core having this happen as they say it again. they now have new victims.
>> well, we're going to get started with what is going to be a two-hour conversation with lots of video. some of it historic. but most of it is video you shot. tell me how about how that all came back. >> i was originally going on this trip by myself. and then as things go, people began -- people in the family began to be became interested in this. first it was my wife. and then my younger boy gates. the minute i did that, he said nice move. now you have to invite wesley. he started all of this. you can't leave him out of this. so wesley jumped at the chance. and he is a recent theater school graduate and wields a video camera, mean video camera.
high-tech home movies. >> you will help narrate. set the stage for what we are seeing. we should explain how you ended up here. how did you make the connection with c-span? >> apparently i have been working with c-span on and off the last 15 years. >> different projects. >> different projects. but you all have done projects with the truman library and independence and the white house at key west. we have done symposium. it seemed natural. >> well, we are interested to see the video and to share them with our audience on this project. and we're going to get started with your first visit to the hiroshima. you and i say this word differently. i talked about it before we started. i still am saying it hiroshima. >> the japanese, the only person i've ever asked about this was
the former mayor of hiroshima, dr. okiba. he said essentially it doesn't matter. americans will pronounce it the way they pronounce it. the japanese pronunciation, they do it differently. they don't put an accent on the syllable. it is more of a strengthening of -- i can't fathom the explanation very well. it doesn't matter. >> both are acceptable. we don't want to confuse our viewers. set the stage on the peace park in that city. the city is large. 1.4 million people. big bustling metropolis. how much is the memorial a part of the city? >> it's the center, the heart of the city. it's beautiful. there's the memorial.
it really is a beautiful park. and hiroshima calls itself city of peace. so does nagasaki. they are both very well aware of their role in the world as cities of peace. and they take that very, very seriously. so it's a beautiful place and central not only to the city itself but to the city's character. >> all right. we will go see the peace memorial park as you saw it on that august 4th date. let's watch.
so tell us what we are seeing here. >> we are standing at the memorial to his sister sodaka. you see her holding a paper crane, origami paper crane. and beneath that is a bell purchase in fact, as the camera comes out and comes down, you can see -- you can't see in this shot. the whole memorial is draped with colorful paper cranes, children and adults the world over, and put into chains and hung all over. you don't only see it at her memorials, but throughout
memorials everywhere as symbols for peace. >> there you are on camera. the gentleman next to him, we will see him. >> back to the camera. that's ms a ahiro sosaky. that's her older brother. >> what is his story? >> he is 70 years old. he has been -- he has not told me his first experience with the bomb. i don't know if that's on purpose or we have just been occupied with other things. but i do know know exactly what happened to him on that day. >> it is also impressive the amount of press coverage you have. >> i don't know how american celebrities do it. >> were they asking you questions the entire time? >> no. at this point they were just filming. he had some things in mind.
there is a paper crane hanging beneath the bell. and the paper cranes are being elusive. but this was masahiro wanted to do this in this way and the press was allowing him to do that. just moving his head in the foreground is his son yugi. >> how old is yugi? >> i think he is 41, 42 -- 41. >> does he share his father's interest? >> yes. they work together. >> you get a sense of how urban this is. you can see building around the periphery. the peace park is on -- i wouldn't call it a spit of land but it goes up between two rivers. at the tip of the peace park is the bridge which was the central aiming point for the bombers in
1945. >> they are ringing the bell to honor the children killed in the bomb. >> isn't it true the city holds a ceremony each year on the bombing date. >> each year. it is still 67 years later it is very, very well attended. you get close to the date and it's impossible to get a hotel room. >> is it american or japanese? >> we saw plenty of nonjapanese, from a variety of countries. i don't know if it was this day but rewant into a documentary film crew from iran. >> one thing i read about this interestingly, is the americans sent a u.s. ambassador for the first time two years ago.
>> and he was there this year, ambassador reduce. >> why did it take 65 years for an american ambassador to attend. do you know? >> i do not know. i understood when he went two years ago he wanted to go quietly and take part. i appreciate it because it is essentially what i wanted to do. >> didn't have much luck at it. but he went again this year in a slightly more public vane. and he was also at the nagasaki ceremony this year as well. >> now we are going to see a more formal meeting between you and this interested press people around you. so before we listen in on this, were you anticipating that you would have a press conference or did this happen organically? >> they let me know this was going to happen. and it followed a pattern. we would go somewhere and they
would follow us. after we had done whatever we were going to do, seen what we were going to see, we would step off to the side and they would ask questions. then we would go on to the next thing. >> how much thought had you given to what you wanted to say before you were in front of cameras? >> not enough. my whole aim was to go and to be present at this. just to be there primarily, to listen, to be a part of it. and i was probably not a as prepared as i should have been. at least not with something that would just roll tripping off the tongue. i found that i had to struggle with what i wanted to say and what i was feeling, which in the end turned out to be appropriate. i don't think i could have ever gone there and just been able to pop up with something. >> before we hear your answers to the reporters, can you put into words what you were feeling at that first stop? >> i was hopeful.
i had been -- in a couple interviews with japanese press in the states before i went, they were very well received is. they seemed open to the idea. they liked the idea. the stories were well received in japan. so i was hopeful this would continue. but at the same time weary that not everyone liked the idea. it was not a universally accepted to be a good thing that harry truman's grandson had shown up a at these ceremonies. so i think i was hopeful but weary for what the questions would bring. more than that, i was worried that i would be able to answer them well. >> well, let's listen in to the questions and how well you did at answering. this is one of the first press conferences on site in hiroshima with clifton truman daniel.
while there are various differing views and opinions, mr. daniel has embraced them all in his big heart. and i really thank him for this as well. in the future, you will be traveling to hiroshima and nagasaki as well. i hope you will see things as they really are. and i hope in the future for the next generation children that we will work together and come up with some plans and ideas to establish peace to this world.
other there the atomic bomb was dropped and its epicenter. >> we are watching your first visit to the epicenter where the bomb was dropped in hiroshima in august 1945. first of all, we should say it was a very, very warm day there. and also in the background we are hearing lots of the noise of crickets.
>> cicadas. >> what is the significance? >> we are looking at what is commonly referred to the a-bomb dome. it was an industry hall built in 1915 and had a couple of different names. as the war went on they changed it to reflect more of the war-time footing. it was one of the few western style stone buildings in hiroshima at the time. and so survived the blast. although the explosion occurred nearly directly above it. everybody in the building was killed. but the structure is survived. very much in fact, as you saw it there with the steel of the dome still standing. and it's become a symbol, pretty much a worldwide symbol for the
destruction. >> as a symbol, how did it resonate with you? >> i got a chill. because i have been looking at pictures of that dome for years. sit common in history and literature about the atomic bombing of hiroshima. i have been seeing it for years. it is really something to stand and look at it, to be near it. >> now, here's an image of the two of you, japanese survivor and yourself the grandson of harry truman walking arm in arm. do you remember that happening and were you struck by the symbolism for the press as it was happening? >> yeah. masahiro, when i first arrived in tokyo, there were some tough questions about apology. having fielded those, i was a little worried that i had -- i
was worried for the rest of the trip. have i done the right thing? is this going to be a positive experience for people both here and in the united states? is this something i should be doing. and when i met masahiro in the peace park when he first saw me, he gave me a hug. at that moment i knew it was going to be all right. for both of us, that was very much what we wanted to convey. that we were here just to come together. >> before i embarked on the trip, did you seek any guidance from historians or people who worked at your grandfather's library on what to expect or how the symbolism might be read by both countries? >> i did not. i talked to the folks at the truman library and we chatted about it from time to time. i did not directly seek any
advice on how to behave or how to interpret or how to take it. >> in retrospect, does that seem a tad naive? >> might have been. although, again, i didn't want to go rehearsed, having all the answers. i just wanted to go there. >> did you ever feel you said things you wished you hadn't said at any point in the trip? >> no. i found from time to time that i wished i had said things better. but i never came away with having said anything that i shouldn't have. >> we should understand, because we have been talking all around it. what are your views about your grandfather's decision to drop the bomb? >> and i'm -- forgive me. i'm staying away from that. i'm not looking into whether the decision was the right or wrong
things to do. i simply was struck by masahiro's wish to bring us together and by many of the japanese people we met and survivors that had the same wish to bring this together as reconciliation, not whether or not it ended the war early, whether or not japan would have capitulated anyway. no matter how i feel about the decision to use atomic weapons or it ended the war early or whether it didn't, i can still feel for the people who were affected by that decision. and i can still take steps to make sure that i do what i can to make sure we don't do that to each other again. >> japan in fact, made a
decision to end the war after the two bombs were dropped in hiroshima and nagasaki. we will look back at the origins of japan december 7th, 1941. as many of you know, japan launched a surprise attack on american naval operations in pearl harbor, hawaii. the national parks service, which keeps the memorial at pearl harbor, has done a series of oral interviews with survivors. we will show you one of those next. >> an officer was allowed a quarter of a booze a week. we had the black book of girls's name and we were headed over for a party on the beach. we were sound asleep. it came up washington way. we were asleep. the building started rattling.
and we didn't think too much about it. when we heard a big boom, we thought we better get up and see. we got up. i guess we looked out and went downstairs and looked out and saw that it was more than what we thought and could see a jet plane go out. we went back, got dressed, went to the water's edge and watched the arizona sink in nine minutes. we couldn't think what to do. after the ship blew up. >> the sailors started coming a ashore with skin peeling off their back, their arms, and all full of oil. we helped them out of the water. and then i remember distinctly taking one man named flanagan, took him down to the hospital. and when you get to the hospital, there was a doctor. and the first doctor would look the man over. if he thought he could save him, he said go here.
and if he thought he couldn't save him right off or within a reasonable length of time, he went down the second line. that was the fellows they didn't think was going to make it. the rule right now if you were physically aboard the ship on december 7th, your remains can be interred in the ship. anybody that was part of the ship's crew december 7th would hold that privilege. and the second thing is that way back in about 1981 my son was on a ship here in 1976. and i thought it's just too bad nothing has ever been done so the fellows on the ship couldn't go back here and have a memorial service or something like that. so i worked on that and succeeded. in 1981, we probably had 75 or
100 people who were either survivors of the arizona or former ship's crew going way back to 1960 or their relatives we got that started. we repeated it in '86. and in 1991, we had 300 people out there. and yesterday -- this is the way it is, gentlemen. yesterday we went back to the ship to the reunion, which we always do on the first day. you go out there and get that over with. then we have a beautiful memorial service at the punch bowl. in the 20 years i went on how to get the government, the army or the navy to do things for you that i didn't know before. so we had the marine band up there, international color guard and firing squad.
beautiful ceremony. because we were the uss arizona they closed the memorial. all the flags were flying just like on an important day. beautiful. >> that was a survivor of the japanese attack on pearl harbor, december 7th, 1941. recorded by the u.s. parks service. clifton truman daniel made a personal trip with members of his family to the two cities that harry truman, his grandfather, dropped the atomic bombs on in 1945. and about his very emotional experience on that journey. showing video that his son shot with us. you have written books and made speeches throughout your adult life. you have had to have met lots of veterans. what are those interactions like? >> it happens after one of these
events that the gentlemen in their 70s or 80s will come up and shake my hand and look me in the eye and said if it hadn't been for your granddaddy dropping that bomb i wouldn't be here today. they were staging to invade the japanese main islands. many of them had already fought their way through the pacific islands in the a campaign. so they had already been through that and were facing what many considered to be even worse fight for the japanese homeland, home islands. >> this event happened some 13 years before you were even born. you are one of four grandsons of harry truman. do you feel some sort of special responsibility with your family legacy to be looking at his history and the complete history of his presidency? >> not looking at the complete history. i've always approached this as a grandchild, as a grandson. i always looked at him as my
grandfather, a human being. so i've always -- what books i've written and what programs i've done have always been about the private harry truman or what he was thinking and feeling. you do -- i do, as a grandchild of the u.s. president, feel responsibility for that legacy, for some responsibility for his legacy, to continue it to add to it if i can to keep it going on the honorary board of truman library in independence, missouri. and a lot of children and grandchildren of presidents feel the same way, i found. that's part of who we are. yes, i feel the responsibility for various aspects of it. >> is this something your three brothers share, or is this particular to you? >> it seems to be particularly to me. my younger brother thomas has been to some events with me and some on his own.
he do it as much as i do. he feels the same sense of pride and responsibility. >> when you get one generation removed, your sons, how interested are they in the family legacy? >> wesley obviously took a great deal of interest in this particular project. he enjoyed the film. he enjoyed being in japan. my younger son gates i think enjoyed the history. he's at the age of 15, he's already had some of it in school. he's had a serious history lesson up close this past summer. and we've talked about some day if we can a rang it bringing survivors to talk to his school in chicago. >> as we saw the survival, all these years later, tremendously emotional. you saw the same emotion at the other end of gentleman a pan. that might have been a lot to reconcile for yourself and for your children. >> well, there are a lot of similarities. these are human beings on both
sides. they have both been through something horrendous. they fought. they've bled. they've lived through -- a lot of them lived through something that none of us can imagine. as harry truman's grandson, as somebody in the middle of this, i choose to honor both. both the sacrifice of american servicemen fighting their way through the pacific and of a little girl like sodako. when i first met yugi and masahiro, at one point they opened a box and took out a small paper crane and dropped it into my hand and said that was the last one she had folded before she died. so you have sodako's crane in one hand and the hands of 70, 80-year-old u.s. servicemen who would not be alive if that bomb hadn't been dropped.
you have to honor both. >> up next, we will listen to harry truman himself in his own words. and this is a program that a aired on u.s. television in the mid-1960s that was called "decision, the conflicts of harry s. truman". this is just a clip from the 35 or more longer program. but this is just a brief clip where he talks about his thought process and ultimately making the decision. let's listen. >> our enemy has started the war. they had killed millions of chinese and they will kill thousands of other asiatics. in the month previous to the explosion of the atomic bomb, they had taken okinawa, a
♪ >> when they are defeated, they usually commit suicide. and the menus hand grenades to kill themselves with, which is a horrible way to die i'd think. i would think a long time before i put a grenade in hi hand and let it blow me some pieces. it gave us an idea what we needed to do in order to defeat the japanese in the war. the next was to make the invasion of japan. the president of the united states, commander in chief of the armed forces, helped to plan the invasion. and put that in quotation marks. the chiefs of staff had to make a plan for the invasion of japan without considering the atomic bomb.
it was estimated that the land would cost several hundred thousand and 250 of our youngsters to be killed and 500,000 to be maimed for life. >> there is a perverse cleaningliness in the planning of an early war. the atom bomb is abnormal. >> i don't mind telling you that you don't feel normal when you plan to have the navy ready to evacuate 30,000 wounded in the first 30 days or to get hospitals in the philippines to prepare for 50,000 dead. you plan that the sixth radar picket ship will have life expectancy due to kamikazes and plan hundreds of thousands of
complete final deaths of american boys who are alive and joking and having fun while you are doing your planning. i'll tell you, you break your heart and your head trying to figure out a way to save one life. >> my chief purpose was to end the war in victory with the least possible loss of american lives. i never had any equals about using the ammunition that finally ended the war in which we would have 250,000 or 300,000 of ours killed and 700,000 of them maimed. the constitution of the united states is dedicated to the common defense. i had sworn to uphold and protect the constitution of the united states, and i had no alternative but to enforce it. >> that is president harry truman in the mid 1960s in his
own word reflecting on the decision to drop the bomb on hiroshima and nagasaki in august 1945. we are listening to that with his grandson clifton truman daniel. what's it like listening to your grandfather's word about the decision? >> it's always interesting. but, again, historically it's never -- it's always been -- we have always heard that as children. that's what he always said. that's what he wrote in his memoir. those reasons he gave he has said over and over and over again consistently. >> for the young people watching this, we should remind them about how soon into his presidency this decision happened. >> right. the first atomic bomb test in new mexico was july 16th. and the first bomb was dropped august 6th.
very quickly. >> and the history books tell us that he was not aware of the program even as he campaigned. >> looking back, he realized he did know something about it. as head of the truman committee investigating waste and fraud in the military industrial complex during the war, he had sent inspectors to hanford, washington and oakridge, tennessee where huge amounts of money were going to create the componentsor the bomb. they said please stop that. that's a top secret project. and my grandfather out of respect for the secretary of war said, yes, sir. we'll leave it a alone. then the day -- i think it was the day after he became president, stenson told him about the bombs. and grandfather remembered about those two. no, he did not know what they were building at all. he did not know we had anything called an atomic bomb. incident was the evening he became president that stenson
told him briefly. and then told him the next day. >> this trip was years in the making. did you do special research on that period of history leading up to the trip? >> yeah. did everything we could. i read my grandfather a's memoirs. i read biographies of him, books on japan. my wife brought us a lot of japanese travel videos. we tried to get a sense of the country, modern and historic. >> and, again, your thoughts on all this mountains of research you have been doing, the video you shot, and you're big this, where is it going to lead? >> i'm trying to put it into a book. and also working with ari beazer, the only american serviceman to fly on both bomb-carrying be planes. ari and i are working on funding for an archive project to record
survivor testimony, online and written form so people can use that. >> the survivors are getting up in years. >> they are. there are only 200,000 left. it sounds like a lot. but considering there were hundreds of thousands originally, there were a lot of people wounded in those attacks given the massive explosions. and people who were affected down wind by black rain, rain drops carrying radiation. a lot of people were affected on the edges of the cities. >> and your work with the truman library. earlier we were talk building some japanese looking for an apology. there is a story that you have about a japanese man asking your grandfather directly for one. >> yes. one of the survivors had been to independence in the 1950s for i believe it was a delegation from hiroshima that went to the truman library.
i don't know that they went specifically asking for an apology. but that came up. and he recalls exactly those words, a that one of the delegates, possibly the head of the delegation, asked would you apologize for this. and my grandfather politely but firmly said no. >> we're going back to video of your trip. this was shot by whom? >> by wesley, my 23-year-old son. >> next it will be a seven and a half minute tour of a museum. i would like you to lead us into this museum. sit run by an american. >> it is. steve leaper. >> and how did that come about? >> i'm not sure. i wish i had better answers for this. steve is the first american director of the peace memorial museum in hiroshima. >> we're going to see some edited clips of what you saw. what does the museum do for a visitor? >> it presents a very honest and thorough, very unbiased history
of the atomic bombing. they did their research very well. there are no accusations. there are no -- it's very straightforward. and i think therein lies its power. >> do you have any sense how many visitors it has had? >> i don't. >> well, let's begin this video of a brief look at the museum that is on site at hiroshima. as the director is giving you this tour. >> this is with one thing i would like to show. it is one of those things -- i
just said that city was crush indeed 10 second. what that means is that all the glass in that city was shattered. and this is what happened to this. that also happened to a lot of people. and any little thing that can move was flying through the air. you know, like a bullet. glass was coming out of people. it would suddenly emerge from their arm or it would be discovered somewhere. this is the kind of thing that just shows that you really cannot imagine what was going on in the city. it is beyond what we can really explain.
>> when did the u.s. relax the banner of information? in the early days they weren't telling anybody what happened. >> well, the press ended in 1952. after that, they still have and kept most of the films, pictures, and everything in their library in washington, d.c. it wasn't available to us. then we had this movement where many, millions of japanese would buyback the film that was made here by the japanese. and it was taken to japan -- i
mean, taken to america. we had to buy it back. so they buy it back. it was after that that we had all the films that you see. >> until then, we had never seen any of those films. >> one thing is that we have always said that this cloud reached 10,000 feet into the sky. well now it looks more like 20,000. according to somebody who did an sort of measuring the cloud and the mountains and all this and that i don't know how he did it but he thinks it is more like 20,000. we have lots of pictures of the cloud because it was such a spectacular thing. no one had ever seen a cloud like this. and especially, this is the main cloud picture, in my humble
opinion. this picture was taken from this island. and if you're on this island you would have felt the blast. it wouldn't have knocked you over but you would feel something. that's six kilometers away. then this is happening 15 minutes after the bomb exploded and so you are looking at hiroshima and you see this coming up over the city and you know that something -- you have no idea how this could possibly, no cloud like that has ever been seen by humans before. >> we are on tour with clifton truman daniel and hiroshima, and this is the museum on the bomb site that captures the experience for the survivors in
the country and being led by the american director. we were talking about how interesting it is that an american director runs this. he is now showing you what? this is very dark. >> these are two mannequins and that's skin, representation of skin hanging off of their arms and faces and legs. this was a common sight in the immediate aftermath of the bombing. the fireball reached a temperature of about 8,000 degrees, and burned on the ground for ten seconds, so people were literally cooked. and the skin was burned. it was seared and as the blast wave came through behind the fireball the skin was just peeled from their arms and legs and faces. it is dark.
you can't see it very well. but many of the survivors report running into crowds of people walking with their arms up, skin hanging down from their arms holding their arms up because to drop them to their sides and let the blood rush into those areas was just too painful. >> was it possible to survive that? >> most of them did not. in fact, if they had reached that stage i think they were -- they were dying. and many of the survivors i spoke to reported that these people of course having been burned so badly were calling for water and they were heading for the rivers. if you gave them water they died shortly after. i don't know if that's because just being so parched they couldn't absorb the water or it was injuries or they were dying anyway. but one of the, in nagasaki and in hiroshima especially nagasaki the memorial to the victims has a little pool where you can scoop up water and just drench the memorial stone as a gesture of finally being able to give these souls water. >> and, clearly, all of these
depictions here are trying to capture the magnitude. >> yes. >> so can you convey what you learned about the magnitude? >> both museums both in hiroshima and nagasaki do a very good job of that, but it is still unimaginable what that must have been like to be close to that, to the hypo center where that fireball originated and the blast was strongest. it's -- and you can see in the picture behind us and the americans have seen these photos for years in history books, what it did to the city. it just flattened and burned. once everything had been flattened the fire started and open gas lines, wooden
buildings. fires raged throughout the city and burning everything else. it was an inferno. the firestorm was so intense it produced its own weather and lightning and winds. >> 70,000 people died instantly in hiroshima and another, double that by the time that the exposure victims die from their wounds and an equal number of people in nagasaki is that right? >> slightly less in nagasaki. nagasaki was, the bomb was stronger, the bomb was stronger, but the pilot, the bomber missed the mark by some and it dropped in a hilly area that protected some of the city from the devastation of the blast. >> so the total numbers there are 70,000 total. >> yeah. i thought it was 90. in that ballpark, yes. >> and then other people -- >> more than 200,000. >> and other people then having lived with wounds throughout their lives. >> still to this day. >> we are getting a sense of the experience that you had. you then participated in another press conference and were asked at the museum to sign the guest book.
this trip was full of symbolism as you came to realize. did you have any thought before you signed that guest book what you were going to say? >> yes. i had some time to think about that. to think about what, especially since they were asking us to be simple, concise. they were asking for something, you know, that would be remembered. and i chose -- and i varied it a little bit from time to time. i had to write it in a couple different places. but i chose to honor the dead, listen or hear the living, and make sure this never happens again, which is what each survivor, when they finished talking to us, each survivor finished giving their testimonies, all he or she asked was, please, just tell the story. let people know what this was like so we don't ever do this again. >> our next clip is of the press conference that was held right after the museum tour by the daniel family and this is about five and a half minutes long.
as they have said, the important thing is to keep talking and to talk about all of it and to be here -- for me to be at hiroshima, for them to have donated one of her cranes, they are working on donating a crane to the uss arizona in pearl harbor, to keep talking to keep those gestures going. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> what always strikes me the most -- yes.
uji and mosachiro, two years ago, made me a great gift. they let me hold the last crane she folded before she died and i don't think i've ever been -- >> and there we saw your signature on the museum's visitors' book. you in our conversation referenced the gift of that crane and you talked about it in the press conference. now this crane symbolizes what? >> the crane symbolizes peace in this instance. as we were talking about earlier, people fold thousands and thousands, millions of paper cranes and put them together on strings, rope them together and drape them over the memorials in hiroshima and nagasaki. sodako folded more than a
thousand paper cranes in a wish to cure herself of radiation induced leukemia in the 1950s, when she was a little girl. and that last crane that i held was the last one that she folded before she died. her brother held on to that. they have, over the years, systematically donated most of her other paper cranes to memorial sites around the world, including the uss arizona memorial in hawaii which they did just this last september, just after we came back from japan. >> her brother is himself a survivor of the bombing. very, very young at the time. he is 70 years old? >> he is 70 so he was 3. sodako was 2. >> next we're going to meet some of the survivors you met with. you told us between the two cities you spoke with 24 of the thousands, so how were those 24 people assembled? >> we met. masahiro had done the advance
work on this, if you will. he had -- in preparing for this trip, they had asked survivors, through survivor organizations in both cities, which of them would like to come, would feel comfortable, felt it was important to come and tell their stories to me and to masahiro and huji. so he arranged the meetings, and they came ones and twos and a couple married couples and we would sit down with groups. and they had arranged for a room at the peace museum in hiroshima and other places throughout the city that was convenient for these folks to come and just sit and talk for an hour or two. >> now, you told us earlier that you hoped to do a survivors oral history project. that's very broad in scope. did you begin with these? did you record these interviews? >> no, i did not. i considered -- i have a -- i had a digital voice recorder and my first thought as a writer was take a pad, take a pencil, take the recorder, sit down and write down every word.
and i didn't because that really wasn't the reason i was there. i was there, i think, this time to listen and to let them talk and just to be present with them. so i -- it didn't feel appropriate to me. going forward, when i go back to japan to do further research on the book, which i hope to do, i will contact those folks again and we will have already had this established. >> we are going to see a clip of one conversation that you had. this is a female by the name of tokami. can you tell us a little bit about her before we listen? >> this was the first time that i had -- i had met survivors here in the states back in december of last year and may of this year before going, and some of those i saw again in hiroshima and nagasaki. she was -- she has never given her testimony before, i believe. this is the first time that she has felt comfortable talking about it. a lot of survivors do not talk
about it. they endured not only -- not only was it horribly traumatic, but they endured a lot of -- they endured the stigma after the war. they were seen as unclean. you could get infected with radiation if you were near them. there was something wrong with them. they were discriminated against. a lot of them learned to keep very quiet about this and keep it inside. so this is the first time that she has shared her story. and i believe it was because we were there. >> and she is today 82 years old. let's listen in. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> translator: on my way home, i saw so many dead bodies, like ash to bodies and collapsed horses and destroyed houses and trains. i was looking at those kind of things and i tried to go back to
my house. [ speaking foreign language ] on the way to my house i was asked by so many people to give them water but i didn't really have any so i couldn't really do anything for them. [ speaking foreign language ] i don't know how long i've had to walk at that time but i saw a deep bridge, like a mass of meat or probably human flesh was on the street near the bridge.
weird, but i didn't really feel any kind of fear. i wasn't scared at all. it's just indescribable. i can't really express why it is so. i just couldn't really start walking and i still remember this clearly what i saw, and i still feel these eyeballs looking at me. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: and i felt like i couldn't really walk in the city anymore, so i tried to use a different bridge. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> translator: from this bridge that i tried to go across, i tried to look down to the river, and i saw so many dead bodies floating in the surface of the river. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: i think so many people, those people suffered from their burned skin, burned water, and they wanted water, so they had to jump into the river. >> that is 82-year-old tokami, a survivor of the bombings in hiroshima telling her story for the first time to clifton truman daniel on his first visit to those two cities where the bomb was dropped in 1945. you met with 24 survivors. here you are listening to this woman tell a story for the first time. what did you see your role as, as you were sitting there listening? >> to be there. at that point just to be there
to listen to her, to let her speak to me, to let her do this for the first time. >> and for her, understanding that she was talking to the grandson of the man who made the decision to drop the bombs -- >> right. >> -- meant what? did she talk to you about that? >> she did not. a lot of them -- some of them that came to speak to us understood this as -- for her it was the first time and she spoke for the first time because it was me. because it was my family who were there and she thought it was time. a lot of them, survivors speak out -- as we said before, a lot of them don't. but those who do tell their stories as a means of education, as a means of reminding coming generations of the horrors of nuclear war so we don't repeat it. for them -- for her in this instance, i think, again it was because this was a different opportunity. this was a -- that was the catalyst for her coming and doing that for the first time. i think it was for several others as well.
>> you learned during your visit that there were also american victims of the bombing. can you tell us about what you learned? >> yeah. a dozen american flyers who had been shot down and captured were being kept in what was then, i think, was then a local police barracks in hiroshima, and it was close to the hypo center, and all 12 of them perished in the bombing. and we met one japanese gentleman who found out about -- i'm not sure if he knew about the soldiers before hand. i think he did. i think they knew they were there. but after the war, and after things began to get back to some degree of normalcy, he realized
that the families of these american servicemen had no idea what had happened to their loved ones and why would they? they didn't -- they were shot down. they were prisoners of war. the american government didn't know where they were housed. and he spent years of his own time and a lot of his own money systematically tracking down the american families of these servicemen to tell them what had happened to their loved ones. >> we'll meet mr. mori next. this is about five minutes long. >> translator: the names of the p.o.w.s were published on december 2nd, 1984 on "the new york times" magazine. [ inaudible ] >> -- wrote an article with their names december 2nd, 1984.
>> translator: and then their, their graves are in a national park in st. louis, missouri, and their eight names are inscribed. [ inaudible question ] >> translator: there are two things i would like to convey to you, mr. daniel. number one, the names which have not been disclosed by the u.s. government are going to be disclosed, and the second one is regarding the new story known to some parts of the united states about p.o.w.s being massacred at
[ speaking in foreign language ] >> clifton truman daniel learning about the american flyers who were killed as well along with the japanese victims and the bombing of hiroshima in 1945. you were told about the story by a man who, himself, was a survivor of bombings. did you have an opportunity to ask him his motivation to spend
much of his life trying to tell the story of the americans and connecting american families with their loved ones so they would know their fates? what motivated him? >> we didn't ask him specifically, but that's just the way mr. mori is. he felt empathy for the victims. he understood the tragedy in the larger sense that this was a human tragedy and that it transcended nationalities and the victims had died in the bombings with the japanese i think just spoke with him and he felt compelled to let their families know what happened. he felt badly that they didn't know and so many of the japanese in those cities had no idea what had happened to loved ones. never found their bodies. many of the victims near the center disappeared. they were turned to ash immediately. they were carbonized. so people didn't find bodies.
they didn't find -- they had nothing to bury. they had nothing to grieve over. they were just gone. a lot of children had been sent out of the cities. young children had been sent out to live. communally a lot of them are with family members expecting they would come back after the war was over. they were sent away because they expected more main stream air raids. and wound up orphans. their families just disappeared in a flash. i think that spoke to him. it happened -- he understood that it happened on both sides. >> and as you say this, it is reminiscent of the stories we heard in the 9/11 world trade center and later on in the program we'll hear of a one family's link between the two events. right now we are learning about the americans who died at that site.
you are next going to visit the military police building so we'll watch that clip next. it's about two and a half minutes long. >> we are at the -- this building now on the site of the former military police headquarters. during the war this is where they kept u.s. navy airmen interned as p.o.w.s. and this site was near the epicenter, so 12 american navy flyers were killed in the bombing of hiroshima. and this memorial has been a record to them. [ inaudible ] >> there is a new building on this site, but how is its history recognized? >> the only -- you're about to see it on this clip. the only mention of those airmen is that plaque and those two small american flags. because it's the -- essentially the loading dock of an office
building. that's what was built up on the site. and the building i believe had already gone up by the time that mr. mori discovered where they had been, and he then lobbied and i think again spent some of his own money to have that plaque erected so they would not be forgotten so that site would be memorialized. small as it is, it is in keeping with some of the memorials in hiroshima because the hypo center, itself, the point directly under where the bomb exploded is also a plaque, a small area. because it is right next to a hospital. the hospital being in an important building. they weren't going to knock it down. in nagasaki it is a park and they have a hollowed out area with an obelisk in the middle of it commemorating the hypo center
exactly underneath where the bomb exploded. >> after days like this when you'd go back to your room after having absorbed so much of this and it all being so emotional, how did you process it at night? >> you talk about it. and you also sit with your family, have a little sake, and just sort of let it come. >> it was ten days total. >> ten days total. >> so at the early part you knew there was more and more and more to go through. >> more coming. yeah. and that's ork. it's nothing compared to what they went through or what u.s. servicemen went through in the war either. >> were you beginning to think about how you would process this for people at home and what you would say? >> no. at that point, no. i was -- and i still am -- it's
been since august and it still stays with you and is still processing. it's not a quick thing. >> we have another survivor story next and it is mikiso. who is he? >> i'm not sure. i haven't seen -- >> he is the leader now of a survivor's group. >> right. >> and he was, from my notes, 16 years old at the time of the bombing. >> okay. >> let's watch this together. this is about six minutes long. we'll watch it and then talk more with clifton truman daniel. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> translator: i removed the rubble by digging around the area and i managed to remove a felled tree, but in the front the concrete foundation of our house was covered with a big pillar and then i couldn't go forward. and mother was lying face up about a meter away and her eyes were bleeding. since i couldn't make it to her side i asked her, can you move? she said, no. unless you can remove this stuff
from my shoulder i can't move. but i couldn't. i was a military boy and i knew japan was cornered and going to lose soon so i was dreaming every day that i would get on a plane and throw myself directly on to the u.s. battle ships. i never imagined such a horrible thing would happen to me. but i had to say to my mother, the fire is spreading so fast that i can't help you. and my mother said, get away from here. quick. and i said, go visit my father who passed away in may. i'll follow you shortly. so i went away from the scene leaving my mother knowing that she was going to die in the fire.
i spent the night outside. the next day i went to my house but the house was too hot to enter. a few days later i stopped in the area where mother had been and i saw a small, child-like mannequin doll baked in tar. it was her dead body. most died like things and not as human beings. later, about a month later, the 6th of september, i was walking and i felt suddenly very heavy and i felt like being absorbed
to the earth. and then about -- i managed to arrive a the my aunt's house about ten kilometers away and acute symptoms started to show. i had red spots on the skin, sore throat. i had gum bleeding and nose bleeding and also i had some hair loss. my aunt also lost -- my uncle also lost his spouse on 12th of august. so my aunt said to me, your mother was yoshiko, my sister. i lost her. i lost your uncle. i can't afford to have you killed. so i went all around in the neighborhood and i came and managed to find a dentist.
not an internist. but paid a lot of money and had him give you lots of shots to cure my symptoms. why am i saying this? i was just a very lucky one to have been saved by this dentist who gave me these shots. i don't know what kind of medicine he gave me, but my life was saved by him. after the war, the u.s. occupational army, the ghqs, said in september that all the war victims destined to die all died so there will be no more damage unaccounted for.
and the doctor sent from switzerland, from the red cross, who saw the victims in hiroshima and then he tried his best to cure them with the medicine and whatever he had, but -- and then also the -- asked the ghq to do something about it, but he was denied. and the japanese government did not even object to that. nothing was done. because of that, by the end of that year, 210,000 died. i was saved but, look. there were 210,000 people who were killed. if there had been some treatment done to those people, a small president truman did not know
about this, but the u.s. occupation army was not really -- did not have any measures, policies in place to deal with this issue. so there has been a policy under estimating the damage done to the victims, unfortunately. >> that gentleman we just heard from telling his survivor story is the leader of a survivor's group of the bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki. we're talking with clifton truman daniel about his visit to those two cities in august of this year. the word he used is the japanese word for "survivor?" >> literally it means bomb-affected people. it covers a wide range of people who were directly injured in the bomb, radiation sickness afterwards, people living further away who the radioactive rain fell on them, anybody
affected by the bomb. >> he was critical of u.s. policy and u.s. occupier's policy after the war for having no preparations to deal with the victims. >> right. >> what was your reaction to that? >> again, that's a complicated issue. there were indeed -- the atomic bomb hospitals that the u.s. set up were, i think, set up primarily to study what had happened, to study the victims. i don't know that anybody had any medication much that they could offer either the japanese or the americans had much they could do for the victims in those days. but that's what he is talking about, is the fact they had these atomic bomb hospitals, these treatment centers that really couldn't treat anybody. >> now, as we're listening to these survivor stories, very hard to listen to, but it is worth noting, he described
himself as a militaristic little boy who dreamed of getting on the american planes and flying them into american ships. we needed to remind ourselves these two countries had been at war and had been for four and a half years at that point and hundreds of thousands of people in the pacific theatre died as a result of that war. that context had to be weighing on your mind as you were listening to this. >> and i -- both he and others brought that up. they were not -- one gentleman said at the end of his testimony that he had felt so stupid for believing his government, for believing the japanese government in this. despite what happened to him, there was both. he felt this horrible thing had happened to him but he still felt he had somehow been wrong for believing his government. i told him afterwards he shouldn't feel that way. it was his country. it was his government. there wasn't much he could do. >> we have 25 minutes left in our two hours with clifton truman daniel.
we'll hear two more survivor stories. this one involves him presenting you with some drawings. >> yes. >> can you lead us into this one? >> yes. he and his wife -- i believe he and his wife were the two oldest survivors that we spoke to. they were both 90 years old. and already -- in contrast to many of the other survivors who were children at the time of the bombing, they were already a married couple in their 20s when the bombs hit, 22 and 23 years old. and he had i believe that he had, this is the first time that they had spoken about it. and in preparation for this, he made a series of eight drawings of things he had seen on the day of the bombing when he made his way, tried to make his way to safety. and the drawings include depictions of people having windows explode into their faces and peppering them with glass shards.
he drew an image of the burials, retrieving the corpses that were littered all over hiroshima which were then taken off to huge pits where they were burned en masse. and he also has his own depiction of a well-known picture of a wounded japanese soldier with the bandage around his head sitting at a desk near the ioa bridge writing out scripts so people could get emergency supplies. he had a long line of people and he was signing these and getting them so they could go get food and what medicine there was. he drew these pictures. and the last one he showed me i think was probably the saddest. it was just a picture of a little boy sitting on the ruined steps of the building and he recalled that when he went, the boy couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 years old. just a toddler. he was just sitting and he went and touched him on the shoulder to make sure he was all right and the little boy just fell
over. he had died sitting up there all by himself all alone. no idea where his family was. >> this survivor story is about three and a half minutes long. >> translator: as i was walking and going into the town, there was a bridge, and by this bridge there was a policeman-like man sitting. and then i looked very closely and he had his head bandaged on the head and bleeding. he was wounded as well. and he said, you were injured, too, huh? yes, i was. and then he gave me a piece of paper. when i saw it, it was a proof of of the atomic bomb. and i received that piece of paper.
and then later, when i did the research at the atomic bomb archives, he turned out to be a policeman called mr. ujita. later, i was hoping to see him again, but i have no word from him. it's a pity i was not able to see him. but instead, i met this person. i drew him from my memory. this fourth one, this is the present bridge looking toward downtown. it was burned flat by the flames and still burning. that must be the department
store probably or that must be the newspaper company. probably that's where it was. i suddenly thought about those things. but i couldn't afford staying there so i crossed toward takonoboshi, the bridge, and there were so many people i encountered. and then there are only a few people drawn here but actually i met more than these people. they were begging for water. and there was no such thing as a portable water container like this those days. there was no habit like carrying a water bottle with you in those days. so i wasn't able to give them water. it was such a pity.
there was no water around available, so there were so many people begging for water, so i remembered the scene and i drew this painting. >> thank you both for sharing your story and for the pictures and i would like very much -- i'm going to take them home and frame them and put them on my wall. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> that is clifton truman daniel harry truman's grandson meeting with 90-year-old survivors. they were in their 20s when the bombs were dropped in hiroshima and nagasaki. and those paintings, drawings, you did bring them home? >> yes. >> what are you going to do with