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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 13, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta The Hiroshima decision in retrospect TuMday, August LETHBRIDGE HERALO-5 By Norman Cousins, editor of Saturday LOS ANGELES This past Tuesday marked the 29th an- niversary of the atomic bomb- ing of Hiroshima. The terrify- ing question asked at the time has still not been put to rest: Was the bombing necessary? The answer given at the time by President Harry S. Truman and his associates was that the bombing was necessary in order to avoid a land invasion of Japan with a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. The historical evidence, however, points in a different direction. The evidence begins with the Yalta Conference in Feb. 1945. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Josef Stalin met at a villa on the Soviet Black Sea coast to consider questions of common strategy. Roosevelt put maximum pressure on Stalin to open up a second front against Japan. Roosevelt had been heavily criticized by Congress arid the press because the United States was fighting on two overseas fronts whereas the Soviet Union was engaged only on its Western land front. Roosevelt told Stalin the United States felt justified in asking for a Soviet commit- ment to join in the war against Japan. Stalin argued that the Soviet Union was bearing most of the brunt of the Nazi military onslaught and that it would be unwise and dangerous to take a single Russian soldier off his Western front. Roosevelt continued to press the point. Finally, Stalin agreed that, once Germany was defeated, Russia would dispatch all of its forces to the Far East and would become a full partner in the war against Japan. Roosevelt asked for a specific date. It was agreed that the Soviet Union would enter the war in the Far East 90 days after the war ended in Europe. it Now. consider the following: No. 1 The war against Germany ended on May 8, 1945. Under the terms of the Yalta agreement, therefore, the Soviet Union was to join the fight against Japan by Aug. 8, 1945. No. 2 On July the United States secretly and successfully tested its first nuclear explosion in New Mexico. This meant we had a weapon with the capability of putting a swift end to the war. No. 3 It was at about this time that U.S. intelligence intercepted a secret message from Tokyo to Moscow in which Japan asked the Soviet Union, then not yet at war with Japan, to act as intermediary in seeking peace terms from the United States. No. 4 Stalin did not in- form Washington of Japan's request for peace terms. The reason was obvious: Stalin knew from the message he received that Japan was on the brink of defeat. He saw an easy opportunity to establish a claim on the occupation of Japan at bargain prices. No. 5 President Truman, knowing everything that Stalin knew, wanted to knock Japan out before Russia entered the war in the Far East under the terms of the Yalta agreement. He wanted a Japanese unconditional sur- render and he wanted it before Aug. 8. A negotiated peace with Japan was rejected because there was not enough time to complete such negotiations before the Soviet entry into the war. No. 6 Leading U.S. nuclear scientists who developed the world's first atomic explosives sent a letter in July. 1945. to Presi- dent Truman on the im- plications of atomic warfare. Truman had only recently come to office following the death of FDR. The scientists feared that the president might not have been fully briefed about the nature of the new weapon. They believed it important to raise profoundly moral questions about the use of a single explosive that could obliterate an entire city. Moreover, they believed that the use of the bomb would make it difficult to head off a world atomic arms race after the war. At the very least, the scien- tists urged the president to hold a demonstration of the power of the bomb, perhaps at a spot somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, on the basis of which an ultimatum could be issued to Japan. Japanese representatives and inter- national observers would be permitted to witness the demonstration. If Japan 'did not heed the ultimatum, she would have to bear the respon- sibility for the use of the bomb against her people. Truman rejected the plea of the atomic scientists. It became obvious later that the reason was that there was not enough time to make all the elaborate arrangements for a demonstration and an ul- timatum in the few weeks remaining before the Aug. 8. deadline. Book reviews No. 7 The United States proceeded at full speed with its knockout plans. Hiroshima was hit by an atomic bomb on Aug. 6 (Aug. 5 Japanese Our ears were tuned in for sounds of unconditional surrender. The sounds we heard from Tokyo were not to our complete liking and we proceeded to bomb Nagasaki three days later. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, therefore, were designed primarily to beat a deadline. It was primarily a political rather than a military decision. In January, 1949, I inter- viewed Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo. He said that all the information available to him indicated that Japan had decided, short- ly after Germany's surrender, to give up the fight and that an invasion would not have been necessary to end the war. What the bomb did. he said, was to obliterate Japan's bargaining position with respect to peace terms. Further evidence is to be found in Dwight D. Eisenhower's book, Crusade in Europe. Gen. Eisenhower wrote that, once Germany was defeated, the big need was to finish off Japan before the Soviet Union came into the war in the Far East. It may be argued that the political decision to use the atomic bomb on human beings was necessary in order to give the United States an upper hand in the coming struggle with the Soviet Union for a world balance of power. But this is completely different from saying that we dropped the bomb to spare casualties in an invasion. Let us be honest with ourselves. Difficult though it may be to come to terms with the fact, the use of nuclear ex- plosives on Hiroshima and Nagasaki may be regarded by later generations as one of the gravest mistakes in American history. No amnesty for war criminals By Eva Brewster, freelance writer Redefinition of masculinity needed "Male Survival: Masculinity Without Myth" by Harvey E. Kaye, M.D. (Grosset Dunlap, 213 pages, distributed by George J. McLeod, Men need liberation, too. Their liberation is not from the dominance of the opposite sex, however, but from a variety of myths that distort their lives and cause distress. Dr. Kaye pokes fun at "the masculine mystique, a complex of quasi-mystical attitudes and expectations surrounding the male in society." He thinks it is absurd that men should struggle to become the embodiment of superman and playboy. BERRY'S WORLD N The doctor makes some sen- sible and corrective asser- tions about men and women. He flatly rejects the idea, propounded by some feminist writers, that psy- chosexual personality is ex- clusively a learned phenomenon. "There are dis' tinctive psychosexual differences between the male and the female which simply cannot be dismissed as mere- ly societal indoctrination." He thinks sex is taken too seriously. "The cult of erotic aestheticism, the 'equality' of male and female's right to define the male as a success or a failure as a sensual animal, all call for a quizzical wink." In this time of denigration of marriage and the family, Dr. Kaye makes a strong pitch for their reinforcement, being beneficial to both men and women. Most men would be happier if they could give up the superman notion and accept the truth that they are subject to limitations. The surrender of that superman idea would also remove the cause of much female unhappiness since it is soil in which the il- lusions of male superiority flourish. What is called for is a redefinition of masculinity: "one which extols man's humanitarian virtues rather than his destructive poten- tials." Many of these ideas have been expressed before but they bear reiteration and they are set forth here in a good humored way that makes the book commendable even though not a classic. People who believe young Germans, born after the war. to have no deep feelings of guilt or desire for retribution, have completely miscalculated the mood and conscience of German youth. Hundreds of young Germans come to Israel as volunteers year after year, singly or in groups and work there w'ith a dedication that is all the more heartbreaking because even the Israelis keep telling them they have nothing to atone for; they are not guilty of atrocities that happened some 30 years ago. I have argued with many against sacrificing their education, sometimes their future at home for the idea that they must make amends to survivors of the holocaust for crimes their parents committed. I might as well have talked to a wall. Typical of this new generation in Germany is Use Koch. She is so ashamed of her name that she changed it to Esther. Yet few older people would now even remember her namesake, the infamous wife of a concentra- tion camp commandant who had lampshades made of human skins and collected skulls of victims she personally tortured to death. A brilliant young painter. Esther earns her art college fees by translating Greek classics and modern literature into German for an educational publishing firm. The child of a former German officer and a mother who did not want the constant reminder of a wartime romance that didn't stand the test of German defeat. Esther grew up on the devastated streets of post-war Germany. Neglected and running wild, she was finally given into the custody of a Protestant minister and his wife who loved her and who are still, in her eyes, her parents. Her adopted mother adores her and visits Esther even during the latter's sporadic periods of voluntary labor in Israel. While Esther's childhood was perhaps somewhat more turbulent than that of most German post-war children, only too many share her views: "It makes me she told me. "to hear older Germans talk about 'having paid." I detest the mentality of people who are unable to think even of barbarity and the loss of human lives in terms other than hard cash." Then she brought up the unpopular argu- ment in favor of renewing the hunt for war criminals lately raised again in Germany by Frau Beate Klarsfeld. "Do you remember a Dr. she asked. Do I remember? The very name evokes the picture of a tall SS man. master over life and death of millions, moving through our ranks at the side of a cat- tle train that had brought us to Auschwitz and I can still hear the cold voice: "Worker to the right." And to the mother of a young girl: "How old are you9 Forty? Too old to the left. Children to the left." I can still hear him boast of his 'scientific ex- periments' on young, healthy people, major operations without anesthetics, submersion in icy water for days, feeding the victims nothing but salt-water to find out how long it would take a person to die if left in the sea. implantation of animal sperms and the gas chambers at the end for all he sent 'to the left.' human guinea-pigs who didn't die quick- ly enough, the weak and the sick. "Well, do you know." Esther continued, "the same Dr Mengele is said to live amongst primitive tribes somewhere along the Amazon? Do you believe that man capable of treating disease and ignorance or is he continuing his experiments among peo- ple appreciating even less the danger of 'medical science' than European prisoners0 Don't you think an effort should be made to lind this mass-murderer before he massacres yet another innocent people? And there are still quite a number of his calibre being let loose on humanity. Yet. we are far out- numbered by the older generation in Ger- many and all over the world who would like to forget. They even suggest amnesty for these criminals. Has there ever been an amnesty for a mass-murderer anywhere even where the death penalty has been abolished1' Should it ever be passed in our courts, we (German volunteers) will never go home again. Believe me. we love Germany probably a lot more than our parents who allowed a madman to lead the country to shame and destruction but. if they evoke amnesty. Ger- many as far as we are concerned will cease to be on the map of Europe." I can't but agree with her. If there is any just retribution, surely it is deserved punish- ment for Nazi criminals to live in fear and hiding for the rest of their lives. Give them amnesty and they'll surface in droves to boast of their past 'achievements' and brutalize the as did the first Nazis when granted amnesty in the late 1920s for a variety of crimes and political murders. Only if they were exonerated, would the revival of Nazism in Germany become a possibility. DOUG WALKER Please don't feed the bears By Marion Virtue, local writer Fascinating animal classic 1974 by NEA. Inc "Why is my vacation more demanding than my "Watership Down" by Richard Adams, (CoIIier- Macmillan, 429 Every once in a while there comes a book that is an entity unto itself; a book that is so different and completely fascinating that no real com- parisons with other books can be drawn. As one who loved and cherished Kipling's Jungle Stories and Just So Stories as a boy and still reads them over and over again; it is pure delight to find Watership Down, which is equally fascinating in a much different way, but still a novel about animals. It is Richard Adam's first novel and without a doubt it can be fairly termed an ins- tant classic. It is a big book about the shortest big book this reader has ever read; for it sustains one's interest from page to page without let-up to a ringing crescendo of suspense and action. What is more it illustrates an insight into man's potential humanity as well as portraying his inhumanity. It is basically a story wherein rabbits living in the rich, green English countryside are confronted by a crisis, and how they cope with it in a saga of adventure full of great danger all mixed with moments of rich ex- perience. All the characters are different, but most have a common attribute of pure un- adulterated guts laced together with a wonderful gentleness. Watership Down is basically a very simple story that can be interpreted in many ways with a touch of the mystique flowing through it that is uni- que. Certainly it is an ideal book for children, but at the same time fascinating for adults. It will be read by parents to their children for as long as people read books to their offspring. If a parent has not read it before, it will take Call FALL CLEANING! AIR VAC 328-0286 Here's what we do: Entire duct system is sanitized, leaving a pleasant aroma Fan and motor are removed, cleaned and oiled Chimneys are inspected and cleaned, flues and heat exchanger are cleaned and checked, burners are cleaned and adjusted A PROPER-CLEANING DOESN'T COST, IT PAYS! CALL AIR VAC A DIVISION OF NEUKO Sheet Metal Ltd. 1811 2nd Avenue South Complete Furnace Service Work and Repair Phone 328-0286 some self control not to be taking some between-bedtime story peeks to see what happens next. It is that kind of book. Richard Adams resides in London, England, with his wife and two daughters and spends his weekends in a country cottage. When Watership Down was released it received wide and enthusiastic acclaim by critics, and was awarded the Carnegie Medal and the 1973 Guardian Award. It is a treasure to be kept in every family library. ANDY RUSSELL Books in brief "All She Needs" by Ellen Levine, introduction by Naomi Weistein (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 10 pages For women who like "fem- bil" this will tickle a funny- bone somewhere. The double standard is brought into the foreground in a series of fighting cartoons by Ellen Levine who sounds like she's been there and back. Meanwhile the muddle of anti- quated womanhood goes on and on and on. ANNE SZALAVARY "The Wit and Wisdom of Yogi Berra" by Phil Pepe (Pren- tice Hall of Canada Ltd., 183 Every sports banquet has at least one Yogi Berra story in it, and this book has dozens of them for the patrons of the banquet circuit who like their one-a-year Yogi stories. Pepe looks at Yogi as a person, a ball player and a partially created comic. The writing is shallow, but the book should tickle the fancy of Yogi Berra fans. Here's a condensed Yogi story the book forgot It seems Yogi went to an award's night and received a grandfather clock. After the banquet he was walking home with the huge clock under his arm when he ran into a drunk and knocked him down. Yogi told the drunk to watch where he's going and the drunk ask- ed Yogi, "Why can't you wear a watch like anyone WATERTON LAKES PARK What brings man and his offspring from everywhere to the Canadian national parks? Bank managers, storekeepers, industrialists, doctors, store clerks, barristers, authors, entertainers and farmers are members of a regular army of visitors to these wilderness areas, arriving by every means of transport from Lincoln Con- tinentals to bicycles. After all, perhaps, it's not too much of a mystery why we want to escape the unnatural surroundings built for ourselves in the cities, and to return for awhile to the bush and nature. To me. and to many of you, probably, the answer is here in the soft pad of a cin- namon bear passing my window (or almost into or the swift dash of a lovely sleek doe in front of the car. Perhaps the enchantment of lazily watching a busy squirrel dash vigorously up the branches of a tree, as we munch a sandwich nearby intrigues us or the song of a rushing, turbulent creek as it noisily conflicts with rocks on its never ending way give us a feeling of release. Those who must stick to vehicles are ob- viously on the alert for game once they enter the parks. It's not unusual to be at the tail end of an unmoving line of cars, to find an avid photographer in the lead getting, perhaps, his first picture of one of those goats.' to find out later, it's a "mountain sheep." Goats live close to the summits and one must climb to capture them on film. If you fish at Wall or Forum Lakes in B.C.. they have a delightful habit of rolling rocks down on an unsuspecting fisherman, intentionally or not (they never However, if you wish to become an expert on game identification, very knowledgeable naturalists give regular slide shows in the park theatres on the subject, interspersed with amusing and dramatic stories, which they have undoubtedly experienced for ex- ample the "Little Joe" bear story! Work of the park wardens rates high in the realm of saving animals, most particularly bears, from their greatest enemy, mankind or is it mankind from the bears? Although there are all kinds of polite signs about, people, apparently, must litter when on holiday. Pray tell me. how can one let a bear know he's not entitled to a juicy steak bone or some leftover chocolate cake tossed into a loosely Book review covered garbage can0 How does he know he's not supposed to eat the bits and pieces of food and trash you carelessly drop along the trails'.' Once a bear gets the taste of "people food." then he becomes not only a nuisance but dangerous. So back he comes for more, finds the litter, enjoys and returns again and again. Humans see. report to the wardens, and the bear whether cinnamon, black, albino or grizzly must be punished. How? Soon, a ghastly looking cart arrives, called a "bear trap." In it has been placed a juicy, gorgeous smelling piece of meat. Unsuspectingly and trustingly, the bear smells and enters" Can you honestly blame him for being so dumb with meat at such a price? Once he steps in- side bango down goes the automatic, heavy, steel door. He's a prisoner yes a prisoner of fate! He bangs, he tears at the lock, he cries like a baby, he shakes the cart and people trying to sleep nearby, think all hell's broken loose. When the wardens finally arrive, white paint is daubed through a hole on top of the bear his identification as a thief. Then the scared bear is hauled away miles from his own backyard and from his own family. Even sadder still, if he is smart enough to find his way back to his own little valley his own domain he comes literally as a convict escaped from jail and if seen and identified is shot. I have a friend who pounds the table. "Litterers" he mutters through his moustache. "Pulling up blooms by the roots" and "Taming bears with hamburger meat." "Civilization has made a mess of nature." "Let's give the animals a he roars on. I hastily endeavor to calm him. saying that tourists pay for the upkeep of our parks and we must put up with a few things. "Anyway, they don't shoot anything except pic- tures." I argue. But to no avail. "Transistors and beer cans." he shouts, and "Kleenex clinging to bushes along the trails" as he trumpets into a red bandana and goes out banging the door. I head for the coffee pot. Moral keep Waterton and the parks clean and for my sake don't feed the bears, "them or dole out cookies to the dear deer. "People's food" gives wild animals gall bladder problems and furthermore they may return next year and tree vou. So. Paintings of railway depots "The Vanishing Depot" by Ranulph Bye (Livingston Publishing Company, 128 GARRY ALLISON Ranulph Bye's collection of watercolor paintings on the theme of American railway depots is beautifully reproduced in this large format book. Developed over 12 years of travel up and down the eastern seaboard, Bye's portfolio provides a detailed pictorial journey into the days when railroading was the chief mode of transportation. Sixty-seven color and 26 black and white plates are compiled in an attractive and thoughtful layout, complete with a short historical and architectural description of each rail station depicted. Both the color and black.and white printing is consistently near- perfect on the high quality matt finish paper used. The soft border medium of watercolor par- ticularly lends itself to the nostalgic at- mosphere the book creates. Painting com- position is rich in detail of both the pre -1900 railway buildings as well as their surrounding environment sometimes portrayed with a present view, othertimes drawn in with the setting at the height of "the golden age of railroading." Depot styles represented range from a caste-like affair in Demarest, New Jersey to a homely watchman's shanty in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Probably the most comprehensive pictorial work on the subject, The Vanishing Depot should be considered a valuable addition to the bookshelves of any railway enthusiast. HARRY NEUFELD ;