원폭생존자가 '그날'의 참상을 증언했다

게시됨: 업데이트됨:
인쇄

서로 세츠코(85)는 13세이던 1945년 8월 6일 일본 히로시마에 있었다. 미국이 히로시마에 첫 원폭을 투하한 날이다. 지난 10일(현지시각) 노르웨이 오슬로에서 열린 2017년도 노벨상 시상식에서 반핵단체 핵무기폐기국제운동(ICAN)을 대표해 노벨평화상을 받은 그가 연설을 통해 끔찍했던 당시의 경험을 털어놨다.

nobel prize setsuko

'노벨위원회'에 올라온 그의 연설 전문을 보면, 그는 "나는 아직도 그날 아침을 생생하게 기억한다"고 말문을 열었다. 그는 "오전 8시 15분, 창문을 통해 눈을 뜰 수 없을 정도로 푸른빛이 도는 흰색 섬광을 봤고, 마치 공중에 떠 있는듯한 느낌을 받았다. 내가 고요와 어둠 속에서 의식을 되찾았을 때 나는 무너진 건물 아래 갇혀 꼼짝도 못 하는 상태였고, 같은 반 친구들의 희미한 울음소리를 들었다. 그들은 '엄마, 도와주세요. 하느님, 도와주세요'라고 말하고 있었다"고 기억을 떠올렸다.

건물 잔해에 깔려 있을 때 한 남성이 "너를 꺼내줄게. 틈 사이로 들어오는 빛을 따라서 최대한 빨리 기어 나오렴"이라고 말했다. 그는 "내가 기어 나왔을 때, 잔해는 불타고 있었다. 같은 반 친구 대부분은 그 건물 안에서 산채로 불에 타 죽었다. 나는 상상도 할 수 없는 참상을 봤다"고 말했다.

"유령 같은 모습을 한 사람들이 발을 질질 끌며 걸어 다녔고, 괴이한 모습으로 다친 사람들은 피를 흘렸고, 불에 타거나 부어올라 있었다. 그들의 신체 일부는 사라지고 없었다. 살과 피부는 뼈에 매달려 있었고, 어떤 사람들은 손에 자신의 안구를 들고 있었다. 복부가 파열돼 창자가 드러나 보이는 사람도 있었다. 불에 탄 살의 악취가 가득했다. 폭탄 한 개로 내가 사랑하던 도시가 완전히 없어졌다. 주민 대부분은 민간인이었다. 그들은 타버리거나, 증발하거나, 숯이 돼버렸다. 그들 중에는 내 가족과 351명의 학교 친구들도 있었다. 그 후 수주, 수달, 수년에 걸쳐 수천 명이 방사선 때문에 무차별적이고 이해할 수 없는 방식으로 죽어 나갔고, 방사선은 지금까지도 생존자들 죽이고 있다."

그는 당시 사망한 네 살배기 조카를 언급하며 "내게 그는 지금 이 순간에도 핵무기로 위협받는 세상의 모든 무고한 어린이들을 상징한다"며 "매일 매 순간, 핵무기는 우리가 사랑하는 모든 이들과 우리가 소중히 여기는 모든 것들을 위태롭게 하고 있다. 우리는 이러한 광기를 더는 용납해서는 안 된다"고 강조했다.

2차 세계대전 당시 미국이 일본 히로시마에 투하한 원자폭탄으로 약 14만명이 사망했고, 사흘 뒤 나가사키 원폭 투하로 7만4천여 명이 숨졌다.

*관련기사
히로시마의 생존자들 : 무슨 일이 있었는지 더 많은 사람이 알아야 한다

sachiko14 (이미지를 클릭하면 관련 기사로 들어갑니다.)

*관련기사
원자폭탄의 공격이 지나간 후, 히로시마에 남은 일상적인 물건들(사진)

ishiuchi miyako (이미지를 클릭하면 관련 기사로 들어갑니다.)

서로 세츠코 연설 전문

Your Majesties,
Distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,
My fellow campaigners, here and throughout the world,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great privilege to accept this award, together with Beatrice, on behalf of all the remarkable human beings who form the ICAN movement. You each give me such tremendous hope that we can - and will - bring the era of nuclear weapons to an end.

I speak as a member of the family of hibakusha - those of us who, by some miraculous chance, survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For more than seven decades, we have worked for the total abolition of nuclear weapons.

We have stood in solidarity with those harmed by the production and testing of these horrific weapons around the world. People from places with long-forgotten names, like Moruroa, Ekker, Semipalatinsk, Maralinga, Bikini. People whose lands and seas were irradiated, whose bodies were experimented upon, whose cultures were forever disrupted.

We were not content to be victims. We refused to wait for an immediate fiery end or the slow poisoning of our world. We refused to sit idly in terror as the so-called great powers took us past nuclear dusk and brought us recklessly close to nuclear midnight. We rose up. We shared our stories of survival. We said: humanity and nuclear weapons cannot coexist.

Today, I want you to feel in this hall the presence of all those who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I want you to feel, above and around us, a great cloud of a quarter million souls. Each person had a name. Each person was loved by someone. Let us ensure that their deaths were not in vain.

I was just 13 years old when the United States dropped the first atomic bomb, on my city Hiroshima. I still vividly remember that morning. At 8:15, I saw a blinding bluish-white flash from the window. I remember having the sensation of floating in the air.

As I regained consciousness in the silence and darkness, I found myself pinned by the collapsed building. I began to hear my classmates' faint cries: "Mother, help me. God, help me."

Then, suddenly, I felt hands touching my left shoulder, and heard a man saying: "Don't give up! Keep pushing! I am trying to free you. See the light coming through that opening? Crawl towards it as quickly as you can." As I crawled out, the ruins were on fire. Most of my classmates in that building were burned to death alive. I saw all around me utter, unimaginable devastation.

Processions of ghostly figures shuffled by. Grotesquely wounded people, they were bleeding, burnt, blackened and swollen. Parts of their bodies were missing. Flesh and skin hung from their bones. Some with their eyeballs hanging in their hands. Some with their bellies burst open, their intestines hanging out. The foul stench of burnt human flesh filled the air.

Thus, with one bomb my beloved city was obliterated. Most of its residents were civilians who were incinerated, vaporized, carbonized - among them, members of my own family and 351 of my schoolmates.

In the weeks, months and years that followed, many thousands more would die, often in random and mysterious ways, from the delayed effects of radiation. Still to this day, radiation is killing survivors.

Whenever I remember Hiroshima, the first image that comes to mind is of my four-year-old nephew, Eiji - his little body transformed into an unrecognizable melted chunk of flesh. He kept begging for water in a faint voice until his death released him from agony.

To me, he came to represent all the innocent children of the world, threatened as they are at this very moment by nuclear weapons. Every second of every day, nuclear weapons endanger everyone we love and everything we hold dear. We must not tolerate this insanity any longer.

Through our agony and the sheer struggle to survive - and to rebuild our lives from the ashes - we hibakusha became convinced that we must warn the world about these apocalyptic weapons. Time and again, we shared our testimonies.

But still some refused to see Hiroshima and Nagasaki as atrocities - as war crimes. They accepted the propaganda that these were "good bombs" that had ended a "just war". It was this myth that led to the disastrous nuclear arms race - a race that continues to this day.

Nine nations still threaten to incinerate entire cities, to destroy life on earth, to make our beautiful world uninhabitable for future generations. The development of nuclear weapons signifies not a country's elevation to greatness, but its descent to the darkest depths of depravity. These weapons are not a necessary evil; they are the ultimate evil.

On the seventh of July this year, I was overwhelmed with joy when a great majority of the world's nations voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Having witnessed humanity at its worst, I witnessed, that day, humanity at its best. We hibakusha had been waiting for the ban for seventy-two years. Let this be the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.

All responsible leaders will sign this treaty. And history will judge harshly those who reject it. No longer shall their abstract theories mask the genocidal reality of their practices. No longer shall "deterrence" be viewed as anything but a deterrent to disarmament. No longer shall we live under a mushroom cloud of fear.

To the officials of nuclear-armed nations - and to their accomplices under the so-called "nuclear umbrella" - I say this: Listen to our testimony. Heed our warning. And know that your actions are consequential. You are each an integral part of a system of violence that is endangering humankind. Let us all be alert to the banality of evil.

To every president and prime minister of every nation of the world, I beseech you: Join this treaty; forever eradicate the threat of nuclear annihilation.

When I was a 13-year-old girl, trapped in the smouldering rubble, I kept pushing. I kept moving toward the light. And I survived. Our light now is the ban treaty. To all in this hall and all listening around the world, I repeat those words that I heard called to me in the ruins of Hiroshima: "Don't give up! Keep pushing! See the light? Crawl towards it."

Tonight, as we march through the streets of Oslo with torches aflame, let us follow each other out of the dark night of nuclear terror. No matter what obstacles we face, we will keep moving and keep pushing and keep sharing this light with others. This is our passion and commitment for our one precious world to survive.

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