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1945 Soviet footage on Hiroshima & Nagasaki released

August 5, 2016

Hiroshima, Nagasaki release Soviet footage of A-bomb damage




Rare footage documenting the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shot by former Soviet researchers only months after the U.S. atomic bombings in 1945 were released to media representatives on Aug. 4.

Sergei Naryshkin, chairman of the Russian State Duma, presented the five-minute black-and-white footage on a DVD when he met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo in June. It is voiced over with Russian narration.

It is the first time for Hiroshima and Nagasaki--which mark the 71st anniversaries of the atomic bombing on Aug. 6 and 9, respectively--to acquire videos of the aftermaths taken by the former Soviet Union.

The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum on Aug. 5 started showing the video in its feature exhibition gallery. The showing will run until Oct. 2.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is also considering showing the footage to the public, describing it as a “valuable documentation.”

The video starts with footage of the U.S. Trinity nuclear test in July 1945, the first successful detonation of an atomic bomb, followed by documentation of the flattened cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Officials at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum believe that the Nagasaki portion was shot on Sept. 16, 1945. They said it represents the earliest known video of the destroyed city after the one taken by the U.S. military on Sept. 8 and 9.

The video shows extensive damage to industrial facilities in Nagasaki, such as the plant of Mitsubishi Steel Mfg. Co. and a torpedo factory. Soviet researchers inspecting the ruins of the city were also captured on film.

According to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, judging from the levels of deterioration of damaged buildings and bridges, the Hiroshima portion was taken between Sept. 17, 1945, when a deadly typhoon hit the city, and around November that year.

It includes panning shots over the bombed-out landscape of Hiroshima, taken from the upstairs of the Hiroshima Fukokukan building, about 300 meters from ground zero, as well as from Hiroshima Chokinshikyoku (Hiroshima branch of postal bank), about 1.6 kilometers away.

(This article was compiled from reports by Yosuke Takashima and Kentaro Yamano.)



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