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“Hiroshima,” for the First Time in 75 Years, is Finally Available in Russian

By Jasmine Wang


John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” was first published on August 31st of 1946. Almost immediately, it left an impactful mark on the world. 


Hersey was able to reach Japan almost a year after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. At the time, Japan still hadn’t recovered from the mass destruction and death. Hersey interviewed the survivors of the ordeal and revealed details about the aftermath of the bombing. 


Although it was an article at first, “Hiroshima” was quickly made into a book and translated into many different languages. Millions of copies were printed globally. One of the few places that didn’t print it, however, was Russia. This August, the Moscow publisher Individuum and Bookmate Originals released the first Russian copy of “Hiroshima” in honor of the 75th anniversary of the bombing. 


The news that there wasn’t a Russian version of the book was not surprising to many Americans. Many people predicted that the Soviets would be hostile to the Japanese government and anything Japanese-related. However, many people contacted Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet Ambassador to the United Nations, and tried to convince him to publish a Russian translation of the book. Their urges were met with silence. 


Although it took 75 years for “Hiroshima” to reach the country, there is now much more knowledge about the destruction that these bombs can cause. Since Russia is the only country that’s currently capable of destroying the United States with atomic bombs, the publication of this book shows a step towards better global communication.


Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/12/books/hiroshima-john-hersey-russia.html

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