Voices of A-bomb survivors: Shizuko Abe, 89, resident of Kaita-cho

Experienced the atomic bombing at a location about 1.5 kilometers from the hypocenter at the age of 18, soon after she got married. Devoted herself to the campaign to support A-bomb survivors.

I was hit by the bomb’s heat rays and suffered severe burns to the right side of my body. Even after the burns healed, my face remained bright red. Children teased me, calling me “Red Ogre.” I even tried to kill myself. When I had the chance to meet President Truman in the United States in 1964, I was distressed to hear him say that the atomic bombings were a necessary evil. I hope that President Obama will vow not to “repeat the evil” as inscribed on the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims. It isn’t our bitterness that I want him to know, but the reality of the atomic bombing. I will watch closely to see what sort of message he delivers from the A-bombed city.

[This is a shortened version of the original Japanese text.]