A-bomb testimonies reflect remorse over victims’ pleas for water

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

A special exhibition, “Memories That Must Not Be Lost--Plea for Water,” is now being held at the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims. The exhibition, running until March 2009, presents memories related to water in the aftermath of the atomic bombing. Admission is free.

On display are 27 accounts collected by Peace Memorial Hall and 11 from Peace Memorial Museum. When a visitor opens a book in which the testimonies are printed, background notes on these testimonies and drawings which depict relevant scenes at the time of the bombing automatically appear on an adjacent screen. Though many lives could not have been saved, whether or not water was given, some survivors still agonize over their responses to those who pleaded for water and this anguish wells up in their testimonies.

Peace Memorial Hall houses about 115,000 A-bomb testimonies and many of these accounts include the experience of fleeing from fire as victims who were dying begged for water. For the exhibition, testimonies that could be readily grasped by the public were selected.

A staff member of Peace Memorial Hall commented, “We hope people will recognize that the sufferings of A-bomb survivors were not restricted to the time of the bombing, but in fact have continued even to this day.”