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Library: Hiroshima

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Author: merja
Date:Feb 20 2005

I. A Noiseless Flash.
At exactly fifteen minutes past eight in the morning on Aug 6, 1945 Japanese
time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima...
Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, a German priest of the Society of Jesus, reclined
in his underwear on a cot on the top floor of his order's three-story mission
house, reading a Jesuit magazine.
A hundred thousand people were killed by the atomic bomb, and these six, were
among the survivors. They still wonder why they lived when so many others
died. Each of them counts many small items of chance or volition-a step taken
in time, a decision to go indoors, catching one streetcar instead of the
next-that spared him. And now each knows that in the act of survival he lived
a dozen lives and saw more death than he ever thought he would see. At the
time none of them knew anything.
Father Kleinsorge never knew how he got out of the house. The next things he
was conscious of were that he was wandering around in the mission's vegetable
garden in his underwear, bleeding slightly from small cuts along his left
flank  that all the buildings round had fallen down except the Jesuit's
mission house, which had long before been braced and double braced by a priest
named Gropper, who was terrified of earthquakes  that the day had turned dark 
and that Murata-san, the housekeeper, was nearby crying over and over 'shu
jesusu awaremi tamai!'


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