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Hibakusha: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Beyond via DiaNuke.org

Nuclear weapon testing is very closely connected to colonial history. Most nuclear powers test weapons either in the far reaches of their empires, or among marginalized populations in their own country. Partly as a result of this legacy, most of these communities remain in isolation from other test communities, and from the world at large. They often define themselves in relation to the colonial power that irradiated them, i.e., they are victims of French nuclear testing, of Soviet nuclear testing, of American nuclear testing, etc…. Often hibakusha from affected communities have no idea that there has been extensive nuclear weapon testing in other countries. As with so many legacies of colonialism, the nuclear testing related sicknesses, deaths and contamination of land suffered by hibakusha communities have benefited from little or no compensation and no apology. The neglect with which the nuclear powers have treated them extends the damage and brutality, now an inheritance for generations.

Today we remember those who died, and those who have suffered as a result of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima. On Thursday we will remember those who died, and those who have suffered as a result on the nuclear attack on Nagasaki. These attacks resulted in unimaginable horrors that the rest of us cannot fathom. Let us also pause to think of the unknown millions who lost their lives, their health, their families, and their communities to the thousands of nuclear weapon tests that were carried out with little thought of the human beings that were affected—subsumed under vainglorious dreams of nuclear superiority and victory in warfare. Let us pause to remember the nightmares those nuclear dreams spawned, and the legacy of death, illness and contamination they have left in their wake.

Read more at Hibakusha: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Beyond

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