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Excerpts from 1945
from America, A History in Verse, Vol. II, 1940-1961 by Ed Sanders

January 12
     a huge Red Army push into Poland
     & the Germans were bootheeled

     Hit-vom rushed troops to Hungary
               & by February the Soviets were 40 miles from Berlin
January 20
     The haggard Franklin Roosevelt gave his 4th inaugural speech
     He always stood to talk
               but his hands trembled
               & he was having chest pains

               weakening on the road to Yalta

January 27
     The Soviets liberated Auschwitz
                         in Poland
               with its hideous Arbeit Macht Frei
     5,000 Jewish victims were left alive by the Nazis,
                               stare-eyed and starving

                     Yalta Conference
     To Yalta in the Crimea came Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin
               for the 2nd, final time

               to plan the postwar future of Europe
          Churchill recited Byron's "Childe Harold"
          to Roosevelt's daughter Sara

                         on the drive from the airport

     Germany was to be divided into occupied zones

     They decided on voting procedures in the UN Security Council
     The First UN meeting was set for San Francisco

               In a secret deal negotiated 'tween Stalin & Roosevelt
               Russia agreed to join the war against Japan
               90 days after Germany's surrender

               The Joint Chiefs wanted the Red Army
                                    on the Pacific front
               -the Chiefs thought the breaking of Japan
               would take 18 months after the crushing of Germany
               & of course the bomb had not been tested
                         & the Russians would save thousands
                         of American lives

               (Some have suggested that the dropping
               of the A-bomb was rushed
                    in order to end the Japanese war
                               before the 90 days were over)

               Korea was to be divided in two along the
                                        38th Parallel

     Poland was a big issue-
     the Russians now occupied it
     and a Communist government was snugly in place, as they say.
     Stalin pointed out that Napoleon, then Hitler
               had invaded through Poland
                         & he wasn't going to let this
                                         happen again.

     Roosevelt & Churchill
                in Churchill words, wanted
               "the Poles to have a home in Europe
                & to be free to live their own lives there.
                This is what we went to war against Germany for...."

     Stalin agreed to bring into in the Warsaw gov't
     some of the Polish exile government in London
     & to hold free elections
                     Sure, Josef, sure. Soon.

               Three Fates were singing- one with a map
               one with an anger pill, one with a nuke
                    A worn out Roosevelt
                    lashed by the devil of war
                    boated back to the US

               Three Fates were singing- one with a map
               one with an anger pill, one with a nuke

                         Dresden Bombing
                          February 15-17

          Churchill insisted on
          destroying Dresden, the "Florence of Germany"     
          ostensibly to prevent transfer of German troops to the Soviet front,
                    up to 130,000 civilians were killed,
                              and its "historic centre" destroyed
                          Why not have bombed
                         the tracks to the remaining camps?
                         Why not bomb
                          the crematoria or the Gestapo barracks?
                         Why not, Franklin?
                         Why not, Winston?
                         Why not, o State Department?


                    A prisoner of war named Kurt Vonnegut
                    witnessed the Dresden bombing
                    He was disgusted with the bombing of civilians
                    and became a pacifist
                          It inspired his novel Slaughterhouse Five

                          Iwo Jima
                          February 19

     The assault on Iwo Jima began
     Iwo was halfway tween Tokyo and the US base in Saipan
                                        in th' Marianas
     The US needed Iwo Jima
          so as to begin bombardment of the Japanese mainland

          In caves and deep pits 40 feet down
          the Japs fought fiercely
          & only 200 survived out of 20,700

          Perhaps thousands killed themselves
          and some sizzle-leaped into the Suribachi volcano
                     to escape the shame.

     The fierceness revealed to the US command structure
     that the war against the Japanese mainland
                    might stretch for 100s of days.

          On February 23
               an image for the ages
                    as the American flag was raised
                    on Mt. Suribachi by
                              Lt. Harold Shrier
                         & caught on film by Joe Rosenthal
                                        of the Associated Press

                    It was a Moment for America

March 3
     Manila was taken by the U.S.A.!

                         Anne Frank
                          March 12

               She was fourteen
               unconscious from fever
               & so weak from hunger
               she rolled from her bunk bed to the floor
                                   at Bergen-Belsen
                                    and passed away
                   Lucy in the Countryside
                     March 12
     There was a visit with old flame Lucy Mercer          
                unknown to Eleanor
     They drove through the Virginia country
               followed by Secret Service agents
     then dinner in the White House
     The next night Mercer and FDR were
               alone in his study for an hour
                         before he went to bed

     It's possible that Wednesday, March 14
          they slept together maybe even overnight
                         in his room in the White House

                Time does not trace touching.

               Briefing Roosevelt on the Current Status
                          of the Bomb
                          March 15

     Secretary of War Henry Stimson
     met with the President
           to brief him on the atomic bomb

          It was during the gore of Iwo Jima
                and fresh fierce memories of the death-willing Japanese

          There were apparently rumors
               -you know how lemony chat-prone bureaucracies are-
          that the Bomb was a lemon

          so Stimson reassured the President that
          the bomb wd be ready for testing in summer's middle.

                    Tank cars of ink have been pressed on paper
                    to analyze Roosevelt's thinking
                                   on the use of the bomb.

                    Speaking with economist Arthur Sachs
                    the previous December (1944) Roosevelt allegedly
                    agreed with Sachs
                    that the method would be
                    a demonstration of the bomb
                    with notice to Japan they'd get it next
                                   if they didn't surrender

                    The demonstration would be before a team of
                    respected scientists

                    The next step would be a warning
                    where the bomb would be dropped
                                   so civilians could split

                    (With Vannevar Bush, the head of the
                    Office of Scientific Research and Development,
                    the President had a conversation
                    questioning whether the bomb should actually
                    be dropped or thrust upon the Japanese
                                             as a threat.
                    Whichever decision was to come
                          awaited the building of the bomb)
               Roosevelt made no decision
               in the meeting with the Secretary of War
March 24
     the US won Iwo Jima after more than a month of horrible battle
                                    and 27,499 US casualties

                Another Einstein Letter to FDR
                          March 25

          Albert Einstein sent a another letter to FDR
          as a cover letter for a memo by
                    leading a-bomb physicist Leo Szilard
          urging the President not to drop the bomb on Japan

          FDR never got it,
                and he was dead just a few days ahead
March 29
     the Soviets crossed into Austria

                     The Taking of Okinawa
                          April 1-June 22

     1,300 ships convened near Okinawa
               south of Formosa
                    & 500 miles from the Japanese heartland

     The Japs again sent 700 Kamikaze Divine Wind
           planes down upon the decks & smokestacks
                                        of the allied fleet

     The US Marines & Army troops went ashore and took Okinawa
          with 49,000 US casualties
                -at the time it was thought Okinawa
                         would be the "springboard"
                                   for an invasion of Japan

                     A Final Vacation
                         March 29

          Franklin Delano Roosevelt left DC
                for a 2-week rest in Warm Springs

          He packed his stamp collection
                         for a few days of leisure

          Lucy Rutherford
          was scheduled to come in the second week

          I like to think of him
          during those final nights
          still undecided on whether or not to use the atomic bomb,
          rearranging his stamps, lifting them lovingly with tweezers
          in the war-forgetting consolation, not of philosophy,
                                         but of collecting!
April 9, 1945
     It was a Monday
          Lucy and the painter Elizabeth Shoumatoff
          arrived in Warm Springs

          (Roosevelt met them in an open car
               in front of a drugstore where
               he was sipping a Coca Cola)

April 11
     the president was working on his Jefferson Day speech

     hands shaking
     losing weight
          & having trouble gaining it back
     yet rising in vigor in the hours with long-flame Mercer

                Roosevelt's Stroke
                     April 12
     His final moments were
     just before lunch
           laughing & smiling w/
           Lucy Mercer,
                Laura Delano, and Margaret Suckley
                (both of whom were FDR's cousins)

     Elizabeth Shoumatoff was working on a painting of him
     at an easel in the room. It was 1 pm.

          "I have a terrible pain
                    in the back of my head"
          then he collapsed
                with a cerebral hemorrhage

Roosevelt was scheduled to go on April 20
          to San Francisco for the opening of the UN
Roosevelt was scheduled to decide whether
     or not to have a demonstration of the a-bomb
                               to warn Japan
Roosevelt was scheduled to go to London, Holland & Paris in May
Roosevelt was scheduled.........

               Just before 3:30 no breathing
               then a shot of adrenaline
                          in the heart

               Nothing. Silence. Thanatos.
     Lucy Mercer and Elizabeth Shoumatoff
          hurriedly tossed their stuff
                         into suitcases
                              and split.                              
          Two months later Lucy Mercer
                burned all of FDR's letters to her.

                    War I wore out Wilson
                    War II Roosevelt

                    Eruptum Spiritus

     In Missouri, my mother came up the steps to my room
     She was trembling & weeping
           She took us down to the front terrace
           at the foot of Cemetery Hill
                    and all of us cried together
                    at the passing of the people's hero

     My aunt Hiram told the story
     of Roosevelt's pet Scottie Fala
           barking and running up a hill
                     as if it were racing after a Spirit.

               Ahh, what a disaster for
               was Roosevelt's early death!
                    • the bomb
                    • the Cold War
                    • the surge of the right

                  ravaged forward
                              in the
                               Big Gulf

                          The Gulf

          And what a gulf it was!
          Harry Truman had never been to the White House map room
                               where Roosevelt ran the war
          He'd never been told about the a-bomb
          and into the gulf
               where the vim and creativity
                         of FDR had presided

          swirled the War Caste as described by
          Richard Barnet in his book Rockets' Red Glare:

          "The investment bankers and corporate lawyers
          Roosevelt had brought in to manage the war effort
          now became the core of a new and enduring
                              national security Establishment

          and the architects of a new American foreign policy."

          No chorus in Euripides could have wailed
          the oi & the ai & the ee the passing of Roosevelt commanded
April 13
     Belsen and Buchenwald
          were liberated by US and British troops
                an experience no diary no photo no image
                                    could fully compare.

     Edward R. Murrow, broadcasting to the Nation from the spot, said,
     "I pray you believe what I have said about Buchenwald."

                          April 13

               Truman, on the way to his first workday as Leader said,
               "There have been few men in all history the equal
               of the man into whose shoes I am stepping.
               I pray God I can measure up to the task."

April 25-June 26
     51 nations signed the Charter
               at the UN founding conference in San Francisco

               Russian & American Troops Party on the Elbe
                              April 25

     Along the east side of the Elbe River
                     south of Berlin
     the same day as the UN conference began in S.F.
               Russian troops who had driven
               ever westward since the saving of Stalingrad

               met American soldiers who came from West
                                   for jubilation, vodka and beer!
                     Too bad the comity didn't last

                They Tell Truman about the Bomb
                          April 25

     Secretary of War Henry Stimson
     was alone that afternoon in Truman's office

     Stimson was 77
          and a "leading member" of
          the New York Republican establishment
     He'd been asked into the cabinet by Roosevelt
                                   in July of '40
                    to help prepare the nation for war

     In the other room, unbeknownst to Truman
     was General Leslie Groves
               head of the Manhattan Project
     a project about which Truman knew zero

     Stimson handed Truman a two-page memo he'd written.
     "Beginning in four months," it read,
     "we shall in all probability have completed
     the most terrible weapon ever known
     to human history, one bomb of
     which could destroy a whole city....."

     Then General Groves was brought to Truman.
     He was carrying a 25 page report
                    on the status of the Manhattan Project.

     They wanted Truman to read it and ask questions on the spot.
     It wasn't going to be able to be tested till July,
                               said the General.

     Stimson wanted to use it on Japan as soon as possible.
     Ditto for the military man.
          Stimson suggested that an Interim Committee be set
          up to make recommendations on the A-bomb.
          Truman agreed
               & a few days later the Committee began to meet
               though no one with power who really
                    opposed using the bomb at once
                               was allowed aboard

                     Mussolini Beyonded
                          April 28

     Benito Mussolini was captured and shot on the shore of Lake Como
                          while trying to escape to Switzerland.

     His body was taken to Milan and hung by the heels
                    and his mistress Claretta Petacci also
                                    in the Piazzale Loreto
                to the hate and kicks of the public

     It was the same day that Hitler drew up his will and he and Eva
Braun were married.

April 29
     Dachau was liberated by US soldiers

horror oculorum

                    Liberation of Camps
                    Over 100 were liberated

     Treblinka, Majdanek, Auschwitz, with its entrance sign:
                                        Arbeit Macht Frei
                    & barracks with five tier bunks

                    life-forms barely alive

     There were many that never really
                          made the headlines
     such as Ohrdruf, Esterwegen, Natzweiler-Struthof

     The Allies had ignored years of Jewish leaders' imprecations
                                    to bomb the gas chambers

                          Hitler Dies
                          April 30

                         In the ruins of Berlin
                         in his bunker
                         Adolf shot himself
                         pistol in mouth
                         & Eva took cyanide

                    Their bodies were doused with gas
                    and burned in the garden
                    along with piles of documents

                    then May 2
                     Berlin fell to the Soviets

May 3
     two partisans, one with a machinegun,
               knocked at Ezra Pound's door
                     in Rapallo

          "Come with us, traitor"
           (Sequici, traditore!)
                     one of them said

                    Unconditional Surrender
                          May 7

                    Near Reims, northeast of Paris
                    General Eisenhower
                         and other officers
                    watched General Alfred Jodl sign
                               unconditional surrender

                         Party Time in the USA
                    May 8 was VE Day
                    a huge celebration in the US of A
                    There was a model of the Statue of Liberty
                                             in Times Square
                    Never were there so many nods of relief,
                    hugging, dancing, & shouting for joy
                    and almost everyone
                              was kissed by someone

May 9
     VE Day in the USSR

                    The Rise of Labour
                         May 23

     During the war the Labour Party made big advances
     Churchill wanted to keep together the coalition gov't
                          -Tories, Labour, Liberal-
     till the end of the battle with Japan
     but Labour wanted to end the coalition at Halloween '45

     so Churchill resigned this day
     to "force" a general election called for July

                Truman "Like a Little Boy on a Toboggan"
                               June 1
                    The Interim Committee that Truman had set up
                    to recommend what to do with the A-bomb
                    met a number of times in May & issued
                    its predetermined suggestions on June 1

                    General Leslie Groves later said
                    that President Truman "was
                    like a little boy on a toboggan
                    who had never had an opportunity to say yes.
                    All he could have said was no."

                    The 9-man Committee was freighted with plutocrats
                    No one from more modest realms
                               had a voice

     In addition to the Secretary of War Henry Stimson from Wall Street
     there were three college presidents
          James Conant of Harvard, Karl Compton of MIT
          Vannevar Bush of the Carnegie Institute in DC
     plus Chicago financier Ralph Bard
     international trade specialist William Clayton,
     president of New York Life George Harrison
     & Truman's Sec of State Jimmy Byrnes
                     a very conservative Democrat
          At the Committee's first meeting
          Secretary of War Stimson said, "Gentlemen, it is our responsibility
          to recommend action that may turn the course of civilization."


          In the final sessions, four physicists were brought
                              to the meetings: Enrico Fermi
          & Arthur Compton of U of Chi, Ernest O. Lawrence from the
          UC Berkeley Radiation Laboratory, and J. Robert Oppenheimer,
                         the head of the Los Alamos Laboratory
                               where the bomb was being built

               in photos of the time looked
          haunted, emaciated & scorched
               On June 1 the Committee and the four scientists
               agreed that "the bomb should be used against Japan
                              as soon as possible"
                                   and that
                     "it should be used without warning."


June was the month
      Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes premiered
                                    in London

June 26
     Fifty countries signed the United Nations charter in SF

July 3
     US, British, French & Soviets
                    occupied zones in Berlin

                         The First A-Bomb
                              July 16
               On a hundred foot tower at 5:30 AM
               the first A-bomb blasted the sand
                              at Alamogordo, New Mexico
                              230 miles from Los Alamos
               & ground zero fused to glass

               The light of it could be seen 180 miles away
               Witnesses wore strips of dark glass for eye protection
                          -so dark they turned the sun green

               then, a huge ball of fire
               & a quickly ascending mushroom
                               lifted upward

          In a bunker six miles from Zero
          J. Robert Oppenheimer
          recalled a line from the Bhagavad Gita
                    "I am become Death,
                     the Shatterer of worlds...."
          which as near as I can tell is Chapter XI line 32
                    "kalo 'smi lokasayakrt pravrddho...."

                    The Grand Alliance Conference
                          July 17-August 2

                    In Potsdam near Berlin
                     the victors met
                    where for the 1st few days
                         Mr. Churchill represented Britain
                         & very much did not want Mr. Truman
                               alone with Stalin

                    (perhaps he was frightened that Harry might
                     come under the sway of Josef's
                          hypno-nationalizing commie-vibes).
               Truman had delayed the summit
               till the a-bomb had successfully fired
               Though Churchill was fully informed about Trinity
                     Truman only hinted at it to Stalin
               as when one evening he mentioned that
               the US had "a new weapon of unusual destructive force"
               & Stalin replied he hoped that Truman would make
                                    good use of it 'gainst Japan.

               There was a general agreement to
                         treat the defeated Germany
                              as "one economic whole"
                                        (which was not to be)

          From Potsdam
          Japan was warned of "prompt and utter destruction"
          unless it surrendered unconditionally
                               Japan said no.          
               On July 25
                    early in the morning
               Truman met with Lord Mountbatten and General Marshall
               after which Truman jotted in his diary:
               "We have discovered the most terrible bomb
               in the history of the world."
               Then he mentioned the successful test in New Mexico,
               with the fire-storm words:

          "This weapon is to be used against Japan
          between now and August 10th.

          I have told the Secretary of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it
          so that military objectives
                     and soldiers and sailors are the target
                                   and not women and children."

          One of the bigger questions is this:
          Would Franklin Roosevelt have fired off the bomb?

                    In an interview a year after the dropping
                    Einstein said, "a great majority of scientists
                    were opposed to the sudden employment of
                                              the bomb"

                    He didn't think Roosevelt would have allowed it.
                    This bard doesn't either.
  General Leslie Groves was given the right
  to supervise the choice of a-bomb targets
  Groves headed up something called
                              the "Target Committee"
  which met in Oppenheimer's office in Los Alamos
  Groves wanted to a-bomb Kyoto
              with its raked-sand monasteries
                            such as Daitoku-ji
  (Hiroshima was the second choice)
  Secretary of War Stimson demanded to be shown
                                      the list of targets
  He vetoed Kyoto
  In Potsdam in July Gen. Groves made
             a final attempt to persuade Stimson
                    to allow him to nuke Kyoto
No no no responded Stimson
           "Aware of no factors to change my decision."
                                   & Truman backed him up
                   Labour Wins Big in England
                          July 26

          There was a huge yearning in Britain
                    toward the end of the war
                               for a Better World

          for the war had mixed into a single strata
          the "class and occupational barriers" of England
                     like an earthquake at an archeological dig.

          All humans had value & there was a feeling
                              that all men and women were equal.
          This had a very powerful
                          on England's future.
          Labour presented to the voters the
          Let Us Face the Future manifesto
          with a proposal for public ownership and social reform
                    more detailed than ever presented
          & the nation voted yes

          as the Labour Party won in a landslide
          & Churchill's Conservative government was out

          Labour now held 393 seats in Parliament
          to the Conservatives' 199
          -an unsung moment in
                     most of the published time-tracks.
          Thus began a kind of glory:
               the national health service, full employment,
                    a British welfare state
                         & a huge program to build housing

                    It was a moment for the world
           Stalin apparently thought the Tories would win by eighty votes
               (& that the USA was in for a post-war Depression!)
                          Suprise, Josef!

               Clement Attlee formed a Labour ministry
               & brought a new delegation to Potsdam

                         The Toboggan >>>>>>> Hiroshima

               The U.S. had built three a-bombs
               One it had already exploded
                               in New Mexico
           & now it was time.

                     It's often said that millions of Americans
                     might have perished in a Total Surrender
                                         invasion of Japan

                     especially if the Japanese
                     fought for every cave & rock-ledge
                              isle 'pon isle
                                   house after house
                      as they had done, say, on Saipan
                      in a Total Resistance Divine Wind
                                         theory of war

                     Many have wondered what would have happened
                     if the U.S. had blown up an a-bomb somewhere
                                   to show the Japanese
                                   what it portended

                     but Truman & the military voted otherwise.

                     But why Hiroshima? Why not Tokyo?
                     Probably because Tokyo was already
                     almost totally destroyed by "regular" bomb-runs

                     In the vast fire bombing of Tokyo
                     of March 9 and 10
                     some of the bomber crews
                         caught wafts of burning flesh.

          Secretary of War Henry
          Stimson told Truman he was worried
                     there was so much damage
                                    to Japan
          that there would not be enough unbombed turf
                               for the a-bomb to make its mark.

          Basically Truman was prevented from
          hearing the full arguments against use of the bomb.

          The last minute plea by physicist Leo Szilard
          and supported by many scientists
                    was never given to Truman.

                     August 6

          The B29 named the Enola Gay
                    lifted off from the island of Tinian
                    & headed toward Hiroshima
                    carrying the 400 lb a-bomb known as Little Boy

               On the way they armed it then
               dropped it above the city
                         & twisted into a steep turn
                         to get away.

               The bomb fell 53 seconds
               and the plane had made its quick turn and
                              leveled out
                              when the bomb-blast shook it hard

               The pilot, Colonel Tibbets, decided to
                          "go back & take a look."
                    The sun was up on a clear day
                    & they could see the cloud
                         roiling upward above 33,000 feet

                         "rolling and boiling," as he later wrote.

               He looked down for signs of Hiroshima
               but it was nothing but a "black boiling debris"

                         4.4 square miles of total destruction
                         melted eyeballs
                         shadows photo-etched on sidewalks
                         100,000 dead at once
August 8
     The US was the first country to sign the UN Charter
       The same day, the USSR declared war on Japan & invaded Manchuria

                          August 9

               A second bomb was ready
               a much bigger one
                         they called the Fat Man
                              -named after Churchill
               This one was different from Hiroshima's-
               it was a plutonium bomb
                         whereas Hiroshima had been uranium

               The B-29 named Bock's Car took off from Tinian
               with several targets
                         both on the island of Kyushu
                                        in southern Japan
               The first was the city of Kokura,
                     but Japanese planes appeared
               so Bock's Car headed to the second target, Nagasaki.
               The sky was overcast
               but suddenly the mists opened wide
                     and the plute-bomb plopped from the sky
                          at 11:02 AM
                               with 40,000 killed

                         A Ghastly Experiment?

               As Howard Zinn points out,
               the second bomb on Nagasaki
               "seems to have been scheduled in advance"
               It might have been an experiment

     "Were the dead and irradiated of Nagasaki victims of a
                                        scientific experiment?"
                         he asks,
          "No one has been able to explain why it was dropped."

                     Troops Happy
          No one of course told the lowly soldiers
          who had lost so many friends while
                     sweeping the caves of the Pacific

          who expected ghastly death
                    on the Japanese mainland

          who after th' evil battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, say,
          believed that the Japanese would never surrender
                              -to the last beating heart-
          No one told them that the bombardment (before the nukes)
                                        was wiping away Japan

          no one told them that the Russians were on the way
          no one told them
                of the peace feelers from Japan
                or that it would have been over soon.

          They were merely happy
                    that the a-bombs seemed
                              to end it quick


               Szilard Threatened with Espionage Charge
                for Proposing Debate on A-Bomb

          Meanwhile the military-industrial-surrealists would not allow
          atomic scientists to engage in any kind of public debate

          Keep your shoulders in the labs little creeps!
                     grrrred the mil-ind-surr's

          For instance, before the attack on Japan
          a-bomb physicist Leo Szilard sent a petition
          to Truman signed by 68 Chicago scientists
                    not to a-bomb Japan without explicit warning.

          General Groves had refused to let Harry Truman see it
          & ordered the petition marked "secret"
          Thanks, Grovesie
          After Nagasaki Szilard wrote the White House
          to get the petition freed
          He wanted to publish it in Science

          the military threatened to have Szilard fired from his job
          & prosecuted under the Espionage Act

                    Thanks mil-ind-surr's
August 13
     The World Zionist Congress
     demanded that 1,000,000 Jews be admitted to Palestine

August 15
     the rationing of gas and fuel oil in the USA ended

     and Truman ended wartime censorship
     except for strict and spank-spankish controls
               on writing about radiation or
               the true effects on Hiroshima & Nagasaki.

     The nuclear war-caste was fearful of
     adverse word on radiation sickness leaking to the masses

     MacArthur arrived in Yokohama to take charge on August 30
     with a censoring mind. He said that
                         no reporter could
                               go to Hir or Nag

     Australian war correspondent Wilfred Burchett
     hungry for a scoop
          stealthed from Tokyo to Hiroshima September 2
          describing the bomb zone as a "death-stricken alien planet"

          w/ a sulphurous smell & white masks on scurrying people

          People he saw in a hospital were "dying," he wrote,
          "mysteriously & horrible"
                     though seemingly uninjured by the a-blast
          -a sickness Burchett called the "atomic plague"

          in a story he eased past censors
                    onto the front page of the London Daily Express.

          In early September a "junket" of reporters came to Hiroshima
          MacArthur was steamed
                    and banned the use of gasoline for all flights
                    that might wend Hiroshima-ward

                         The Surrender
                          September 2

     Japan formally surrendered on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay

                     World War II Mortalities

                         USSR 18 million
                         Poland 5.8 million
                         Yugoslavia 1.5 million
                         France 563,000
                         England & Commonwealth 466,000
                         USA 298,000

                         Germany 4.2 million
                         Italy 395,000
                         Japan 1.97 million
                    Indochina in the fall of 1945
     During the war
     more than 2 million Vietnamese had died of starvation
                               under the evil furnace of Japan.
     and then on September 2
     Ho Chi Minh proclaimed an independent
               Democratic Republic of Vietnam
           (though the French refused to recognize it)

               There was a huge celebration
               of a million people
                         in Hanoi late that year

          when the revolutionaries issued a Declaration of Independence
          with the language, "The whole Vietnamese people,
          animated by a common purpose, are determined to fight
          to the bitter end against any attempt by the French colonialists
          to reconquer their country."

                    And so it would be.

     England had taken the south of Indochina and returned it to the French
     The US persuaded Chiang Kai-shek whose forces owned the northern
          portion of Indochina to give it also to the French
          & less than a year later, in November of '46
          the French bombarded Haiphong
                     and the eight-year war 'tween the Vietminh
               and the French
                     over 'Nam
                          September 6

     Japan had controlled Korea for 35 years
     and after WW2 it was divided into two
               North & South along the 38th parallel
               in a decision made at Potsdam

          the North was under Soviet sway
          & the South a right wing dictatorship
                     swayed by America

     The Korean People's Republic was announced on September 6
     while on the 8th US troops landed and set up a "military administration"
                               refusing to recognize the Republic.

                         The Fair Deal
                          September 6

     President Truman came up with a
               a 21 point proposal
               which called, for instance, for guaranteed
               full employment

          Of course the right wing of his own party
          & the conservative class structure
                              worked against it
          so that by the time the Full Employment Act of '46 was
               signed on February 20, '46
               Full Employment
                         was not even mentioned

                     Things are Fine at Trinity
                          September 9

                    a gurgle-gaggle of US reporters
                          in canvas over-
                    were driven to the Trinity Site
                    to click a basic message of
                              "Hiroshima, Mon Amour"
                                         to the nation

               General Leslie Groves escorted the reporters-
               his driver was Patrick Stout, age 29
               who posed for photos down in the Trinity blast crater

               Hi, world.

               22 years later Stout was slugged with leukemia
               - that was 1967
                    & he passed away in '69

                    MacArthur shat down a harsh censorship on Japan
                    till 1949

                    Even John Hersey's Hiroshima
                    was delayed for two years in Japan
                    till the Authors League of America's complaints
                                             freed it to press

September 20
     The All India Congress Committee under Gandhi and Nehru
                said no to British proposals for self gov't
                    and called upon Britain to "quit India."

September 26
     the great Bélà Bártok passed away of leukemia
          He been 5 years in exile in NYC
               working at Columbia U
                         transcribing Yugoslavian folk tunes

October 11
     A breakdown of talks 'tween Mao and Chiang Kai-shek
     & fighting began 'tween Nationalists and Communists
                                   in northern China
                                        for control of Manchuria
October 20
     Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon formed the Arab League
     announcing that a Jewish state in Palestine would lead to war

                    Swing to the Left in France
                          October 21

               The French voters
                         opted for national sharing
               Commies 148 seats
               Socialists 134
               Conservatives 62

          The French Gov't soon nationalized the Bank of France
          and other private banks, Air France
                              and Renault auto!

* Editor's Note: Some of the graphics in this poem were lost in translation, prompting the Corpse to come up with alternative solutions. For example, in the section called "Roosevelt's Stroke," images of Roosevelt were replaced by the word "Roosevelt." Also, in another situation, the symbols ">>>>>>>" were used in place of an arrow. The Kyoto section also involved an imagistic sacrifice.

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