Visiting Hiroshima Without Revisiting History
By Bob Garfield – May 20, 2016
On the Media – WNYC
Next week, President Obama will become the first sitting US President to visit Hiroshima. He will not — the White House repeats, NOT — apologize for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 71 years ago that killed an estimated 200 thousand people. The rhetorical needle will be a challenge to thread, as the President repeats his message that the use of atomic weapons is so terrible that it must never happen again…without second-guessing their use in 1945.
Carol Gluck is a professor of Japanese history at Columbia University and author of the forthcoming book, “Past Obsessions: World War Two in History and Memory.” She and Bob discuss how and why the US and Japan have two very different narratives about the atomic bomb, and what the visit will mean for historic interpretation.