Destruction of Hiroshima remembered

    2nd generation A-Bomb survivor, Tomoko Watanabe, and Cape Town Holocaust survivor, Miriam Lichterman, plant the gingko sapling. Photo credit: The Office of the Consul of Japan in Cape Town

    In August 1945 two atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The devastating repercussions are still felt today by the Japanese people, who have sought to use this history to spread a message of peace and educate global citizens about the ongoing threat of nuclear warfare.

    A symbol of rebirth after the devastation caused by the A-bomb made its way to Cape Town recently: the planting of a sapling nurtured from a seed of a 300-year-old gingko tree that survived the horrors of Hiroshima. In 2012, the seed was sent to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens by second-generation A-Bomb survivor, Tomoko Watanabe, who is the co-founder of the Green Legacy Hiroshima Initiative, in conjunction with ANT-Hiroshima, the Asian Network Trust. The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens have spent the past five years growing the sapling. This tree was planted by Mrs Watanabe and Holocaust survivor, Miriam Lichterman, in a moving ceremony held at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre on Tuesday, 15 August.

    An exhibition commemorating 72 years since Hiroshima, called ‘The Atomic Bomb and Human Rights’, is available for viewing at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre until 14 September.

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