Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Friday, December 29, 2006

Radiation sickness report published 61 years later

A detailed report by news correspondent George Weller on radiation sickness following the dropping of nuclear bombs in Japan has been published, four years after his death and 61 years after it was censored by the U.S. army. Weller, the first reporter to reach Nagasaki after it was bombed, had written the stories for the (now defunct) Chicago Daily News. He sent the report series, about 75 typewritten pages with photos, to the military censors in Tokyo for approval, but General Douglas MacArthur ordered them destroyed. Weller died in 2002 at the age of 95 and his son discovered carbon copies of the writings in his father's apartment in Rome. The book, First Into Nagasaki, is due out this week. Weller's reports were similar to that of Australian (communist) news correspondent Wilfred Burchett, who had reported on the aftermath of the nuclear devastation of Hiroshima, but contrary to the officially approved reports of New York Times correspondent William Laurance, later discovered to be on the White House payroll, who praised the bombings and dismissed reports of radiation sickness as "Japanese propaganda."

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