macarthur censored account of nagasaki destruction

The Mainichi Daily News, a national newspaper in Japan, published Pulitzer Prize winner George Weller’s eyewitness account of what he found in Nagasaki, Japan about a month after the United States dropped the atomic bomb on it, an attack that killed about 70,000 men, women, and children.
George Weller

George Weller, from the Mainichi Daily News

It’s a harrowing read, and one that General Douglas MacArthur ordered censored. Weller, who died in 2002 at the age of 95, was the first foreign journalist to make it to the bombed-out city, which MacArthur, head of the U.S. occupation in Japan, ruled was off limits to reporters. Weller’s son, Anthony Weller, found the carbon copies and accompanying photographs in his father’s Rome apartment last year. According to an Associated Press report, “Anthony Weller told Mainichi he thought wartime officials wanted to hush up stories about radiation sickness and feared that his father’s reports would sway American public opinion against building an arsenal of nuclear bombs.” Anthony Weller plans to publish his father’s story and photographs some time soon, but made it available to Mainichi. You can read it here: A Nagasaki Report.

It begins:

American George Weller was the first foreign reporter to enter Nagasaki following the U.S. atomic attack on the city on Aug. 9, 1945. Weller wrote a series of stories about what he saw in the city, but censors at the Occupation’s General Headquarters refused to allow the material to be printed. Weller’s stories, written in September 1945, can be found below.

NAGASAKI, Sept.8—The atomic bomb may be classified as a weapon capable of being used indiscriminately, but its use in Nagasaki was selective and proper and as merciful as such a gigantic force could be expected to be.

The following conclusions were made by the writer - as the first visitor to inspect the ruins - after an exhaustive, though still incomplete study of this wasteland of war.

Nagasaki is an island roughly resembling Manhattan in size and shape, running in north and south direction with ocean inlets on both sides, what would be the New Jersey and Manhattan sides of the Hudson river are lined with huge-war plants owned by the Mitsubishi and Kawanami families.

The Kawanami shipbuilding plants, employing about 20,000 workmen, lie on both sides of the harbor mouth on what corresponds to battery park and Ellis island. That is about five miles from the epicenter of the explosion.

B-29 raids before the Atomic bomb failed to damage them and they are still hardly scarred.

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