Hiroshima, Japan: The city gained notoriety
The city in the southwest of the Japanese Peninsula gained notoriety on August 6, 1945. When one hears the name of the city of Hiroshima, one inevitably associates it with the atomic bombing in World War II and the unspeakable suffering and deaths that this nuclear attack caused for the people living there; and even today people suffer as a result of the attack. Not only human lives were destroyed, but also the city’s infrastructure. In the many years that have passed since then, Hiroshima has developed into a cosmopolitan city that can be seen with countless bars and restaurants and cultural offers.
Like a phoenix from the ashes
From the ashes of August 6, 1945, a lively city of millions has emerged, with a population almost twice as high as before the Second World War. The objection that there is a high level of radiation exposure here can be answered decisively: The radiation exposure is not higher than in other places on earth. When the city was rebuilt, historical memorabilia such as the Shukkeien Garden were also rebuilt. In this garden there is a ginkgo tree that is over 200 years old and survived the disaster.
In Hiroshima, travelers can find out more about the history of the city in numerous museums, and numerous memorials encourage people to grapple with the dramatic consequences.
The Peace Memorial Park with its memorials and the extremely well designed museum is a must for every visitor to the city. The museum shows the history of the bombing and documents its consequences. The A-Bomb Dome and the Children’s Peace Monument can be found on the large grounds of the park. The atomic bomb dome is the skeleton of the former Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The ruin was left unchanged. On the evening of the anniversary of the catastrophe, the residents of the city remember the dead here.
The children’s peace monument commemorates the story of Sadako Sasaki. Ten years after the atomic bomb attack, she developed leukemia. She began to make cranes out of paper to get well again. However, like thousands of other children, Sasaki died as a direct result of the attack, but also of its after-effects. The memorial commemorates these children. It is intended to remind, to give hope and is a contribution to the preservation of peace among the people who, in the face of these monuments, should recognize the absurdity and misery of wars.
In the Peace Museum there are film and image recordings that deal with these events.
Admission to the museum is inexpensive and volunteer guides are available to advise and help tourists. In Hiroshima you can easily trace the path that leads from war and destruction to peaceful global coexistence and learn a lot about the absurdity of the past and the opportunities of the future.