The Nagasaki trip was for all of us very interesting, shocking, and touching at the same time. Our survivor, Mr. Katsuji Yoshida was 13 years old when the atomic bomb exploded 850 meters away on August 9th, 1945.
He was on his way to school when he was thrown through the air and landed in a rice field some 40 meters away. After four months of unconsciousness and hospital treatment, he could go home but there was only his mother left. His father and grandfather died after they went searching for him because of the radioactivity. Only a few victims who were within 1 km are alive today.
Mr. Yosida did not want to live any longer because of his horrific appearance. The right side of his face and arm were totally burnt and his muscles were visible. Because of many operations and a different face color, people stared and laughed at him.
Even today, he still receives treatment regularly at Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Hospital and Nagasaki University Hospital. His goal is now to tell his story and to spread his message: “The basis of peace is for people to understand the pain of others.”
Rachel Anderegg (Switzerland)