Less than a hundred buildings were saved to the 1945 massacre, but the authorities want to demolish two of them for their structural problems
On August 6, 1945, it went down in history for being the date chosen to bomb, for the first time, a city inhabited with a nuclear bomb. It is estimated that more than 140,000 people died in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, but many more suffered the effects of radiation. But if the human damages were enormous, the materials did not lag behind.
Most of the buildings that were erected in Hiroshima in 1945 were destroyed. Less than a hundred buildings were spared from being reduced to rubble, although many of them suffered major damage to their structure. However, instead of knocking them down, the Japanese authorities decided to keep them as a testimony of what happened. Until now.
Two of the 85 buildings that are still standing and survived at the end of World War II will be demolished. These are buildings that have structural damage and could collapse in case of a strong earthquake, according to technicians, so the authorities have set an expiration date: they will be demolished in 2022.
A symbol of the city
However, the response to the announcement has not taken long to occur. Various organizations have shown their rejection and there are even people who survived the bombing that considers it an affront. One of them is Iwao Nakanishi: today it is 89 years old, but it was in one of the buildings that survived the bombing when the nuclear bomb was dropped.
In statements collected by the BBC, Nakanishi explains that “considering the historical importance of telling the tragedy to future generations, we cannot accept the demolition. We strongly oppose it.” Like him, dozens of people pressure the Hiroshima government to make the same decision as with another damaged building: fix it and keep it.
These two buildings were built in 1913 and were used as a factory for military clothing and accommodation for students before the war. However, afterwards, they had to be used as an emergency hospital for the victims of the bombing and, today, they remain a symbol for all the inhabitants of Hiroshima.