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Hiroshima Survivor Setsuko Thurlow to accept Nobel Peace Prize

Canadian who survived Hiroshima nuclear bomb to accept Nobel Peace Prize. This is her story

Hiroshima Survivor Setsuko Thurlow Recalls U.S. Bombing

‘We learned how to step over the dead bodies’: Setsuko Thurlow, 85, was 13 when she survived the attack. She has spent her life since campaigning against nuclear weapons Setsuko Thurlow will be in Oslo, Norway, on Dec. 10 to jointly accept the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of this year’s laureate, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

The 85-year-old Toronto resident is a Hibakusha — a survivor of the atomic attacks on Japan in 1945. Her hometown of Hiroshima was destroyed by the Americans on August 6, 1945.

Thurlow’s sister, burned and bloated from the blast, lived for four days afterwards. When she spoke, what she expressed was a mother’s guilt: Her child had been badly burned. How could she have let it happen?

“It’s not easy to carry these memories,” Thurlow says. “We learned how to step over the dead bodies.” She recalls feeling numb. She couldn’t cry. All she could do was watch, as Japanese soldiers tossed the lifeless bodies of her sister, Ayako, and her four-year-old nephew, Eiji, into a shallow grave, dousing them with gasoline, throwing in a match. Thurlow was 13.

She has spent much of her life since campaigning against nuclear weapons.

Her weapon is her words — and her resolve to keep telling the story. Thurlow sat down with the National Post at her home in Toronto.


October 27, 2017 - Posted by | Japan, PERSONAL STORIES

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