Santa Fe Activist Shares Hiroshima Day Recollections

Photograph of Hiroshima shortly after the dropping of the atomic bomb. Photo by Shiegeo Hayashi

Stephen Fox

By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post
bjgordon@ladailypost.com

On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States becomes the first and only nation to use atomic weaponry during wartime when it dropped an atomic bomb  on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.

On Aug. 6, 1945, the American bomber Enola Gay dropped a five-ton bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. A blast equivalent to the power of 15,000 tons of TNT reduced four square miles of the city to ruins.. Three days later, another bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing nearly 40,000 more people. A few days later, Japan surrendered.

For Santa Fe gallery owner and progressive activist Stephen Fox, Hiroshima Day has special personal meaning. In 1976, Fox served as New Mexico representative to the U.N. Special Session on Disarmament. He met survivors of the Hiroshima bombing and also met Shiegeo Hayashi, the Japanese photographer who was one of the two assigned by the Special Committee for the Investigation of A-bomb Damage to document the aftermath of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Fox accompanied the delegation to Washington, D.C., where they met political figures, including Sen. Edward Kennedy. Although permission to visit the test site near Alamogordo was denied, Fox welcomed the Japanese delegation to New Mexico for a visit.

“We decided to do an exhibition of Hayashi’s photographs in Old Town Albuquerque,” Fox remembered. “We used at least 300 large size photos. The 350th anniversary celebration for Neri Church was going on at the same time. The Hispanic community was amazed by the photos.”

Fox has another striking memory concerning the bombing. When historian Zhores A. Medvedev lectured in New Mexico in 1978, Fox attended all three of his lectures on the Russian nuclear project and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Joining him at the Los Alamos National Laboratory lecture was none other than Edward Teller.

“Dr. Teller asked Medvedev how he could talk about these things so openly. Medvedev replied, ‘Dr. Teller, scientist can’t be held responsible for what is done with their research. The same is true of historians.’ Teller stormed out.”

Fox continues to be involved in peace activism and in promoting the role of the United Nations in solving the world’s problems peacefully.

Source: Historical information/history.com

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