On the morning of August 6, 1945, the United States launched an atomic bomb attack that killed at least 80,000 people and destroyed much of Hiroshima, Japan.
One of the children who survived the blast has grown up. She continues to speak out against nuclear warfare, 75 years later.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
On remembering August 6, 1945
Does it get easier? No. Sometimes it gets harder because of what the world leaders are doing. It's so infuriating, so threatening. I feel, naturally, a sense of outrage.
On concerns about radiation
I have been fortunate. I have maintained good health. But of course, the fear something could have happened, that has always existed in my mind.
On surviving the attack
Well, I was inside the building. I was a 13-year-old student, in grade eight. I would train to be the decoding assistant. Can you imagine? A 13-year-old child given such an important job? So those military secret messages, we learn how to decode those things.
So, I was with a group of about 30 girls. I was at the military headquarters, not at the school. And then at 8:15, I saw the bluish-white flecks in the window. And my body was blown up into the air. I still remember the sensation of floating in the air.
When I regained consciousness, I found myself in total darkness and silence. I found myself pinned under the collapsed building, so I couldn't move. So I knew that I was facing this. Then, all of a sudden, strong hands started shaking my left shoulder. And a male voice said: “Don't give up. Keep moving. Keep pushing. Keep kicking. I’m trying to free you.”
And obviously he did.
On working with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICANN) and accepting the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo
One day, I got a telephone call from a member of ICANN and said they wanted me to be the co-speaker. They were trying to express their appreciation and their respect for my lifelong involvement in this movement. So I had the unique role to play in that movement. And I'm delighted I could be part of it.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Setsuko Thurlow will speak as part of a virtual event on Sunday. It will streamed by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sacramento Chapter.
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