a huge Red Army push into Poland
& the Germans were bootheeled
Hit-vom rushed troops to Hungary
by February the Soviets were 40 miles from Berlin
The haggard Franklin Roosevelt gave
his 4th inaugural speech
He always stood to talk
his hands trembled
he was having chest pains
on the road to Yalta
The Soviets liberated Auschwitz
its hideous Arbeit Macht Frei
5,000 Jewish victims were left alive
by the Nazis,
stare-eyed and starving
To Yalta in the Crimea came Roosevelt,
Churchill and Stalin
the 2nd, final time
plan the postwar future of Europe
recited Byron's "Childe Harold"
the drive from the airport
Germany was to be divided into occupied
They decided on voting procedures
in the UN Security Council
The First UN meeting was set for San
a secret deal negotiated 'tween Stalin & Roosevelt
agreed to join the war against Japan
days after Germany's surrender
Joint Chiefs wanted the Red Army
on the Pacific front
Chiefs thought the breaking of Japan
take 18 months after the crushing of Germany
of course the bomb had not been tested
the Russians would save thousands
have suggested that the dropping
the A-bomb was rushed
order to end the Japanese war
before the 90 days were over)
was to be divided in two along the
Poland was a big issue-
the Russians now occupied it
and a Communist government was snugly
in place, as they say.
Stalin pointed out that Napoleon,
invaded through Poland
he wasn't going to let this
in Churchill words, wanted
Poles to have a home in Europe
& to be free to live their own lives there.
This is what we went to war against Germany for...."
Stalin agreed to bring into in the
some of the Polish exile government
& to hold free elections
Sure, Josef, sure. Soon.
Fates were singing- one with a map
with an anger pill, one with a nuke
worn out Roosevelt
by the devil of war
back to the US
Fates were singing- one with a map
with an anger pill, one with a nuke
Dresden, the "Florence of Germany"
to prevent transfer of German troops to the Soviet front,
to 130,000 civilians were killed,
its "historic centre" destroyed
Why not have bombed
tracks to the remaining camps?
the crematoria or the Gestapo barracks?
not, o State Department?
prisoner of war named Kurt Vonnegut
the Dresden bombing
was disgusted with the bombing of civilians
became a pacifist
It inspired his novel Slaughterhouse Five
The assault on Iwo Jima began
Iwo was halfway tween Tokyo and the
US base in Saipan
The US needed Iwo Jima
to begin bombardment of the Japanese mainland
and deep pits 40 feet down
Japs fought fiercely
only 200 survived out of 20,700
thousands killed themselves
some sizzle-leaped into the Suribachi volcano
to escape the shame.
The fierceness revealed to the US
that the war against the Japanese
stretch for 100s of days.
image for the ages
the American flag was raised
Mt. Suribachi by
caught on film by Joe Rosenthal
the Associated Press
was a Moment for America
Manila was taken by the U.S.A.!
so weak from hunger
rolled from her bunk bed to the floor
and passed away
in the Countryside
There was a visit with old flame Lucy
unknown to Eleanor
They drove through the Virginia country
by Secret Service agents
then dinner in the White House
The next night Mercer and FDR were
in his study for an hour
he went to bed
It's possible that Wednesday, March
slept together maybe even overnight
his room in the White House
Time does not trace touching.
Roosevelt on the Current Status
of the Bomb
Secretary of War Henry Stimson
met with the President
brief him on the atomic bomb
during the gore of Iwo Jima
and fresh fierce memories of the death-willing Japanese
were apparently rumors
know how lemony chat-prone bureaucracies are-
the Bomb was a lemon
reassured the President that
bomb wd be ready for testing in summer's middle.
cars of ink have been pressed on paper
analyze Roosevelt's thinking
the use of the bomb.
with economist Arthur Sachs
previous December (1944) Roosevelt allegedly
the method would be
demonstration of the bomb
notice to Japan they'd get it next
they didn't surrender
demonstration would be before a team of
next step would be a warning
the bomb would be dropped
civilians could split
Vannevar Bush, the head of the
of Scientific Research and Development,
President had a conversation
whether the bomb should actually
dropped or thrust upon the Japanese
decision was to come
awaited the building of the bomb)
made no decision
the meeting with the Secretary of War
the US won Iwo Jima after more than
a month of horrible battle
and 27,499 US casualties
Another Einstein Letter to FDR
Einstein sent a another letter to FDR
cover letter for a memo by
a-bomb physicist Leo Szilard
the President not to drop the bomb on Japan
never got it,
and he was dead just a few days ahead
the Soviets crossed into Austria
The Taking of Okinawa
April 1-June 22
1,300 ships convened near Okinawa
500 miles from the Japanese heartland
The Japs again sent 700 Kamikaze Divine
down upon the decks & smokestacks
the allied fleet
The US Marines & Army troops went
ashore and took Okinawa
49,000 US casualties
-at the time it was thought Okinawa
be the "springboard"
an invasion of Japan
A Final Vacation
Delano Roosevelt left DC
for a 2-week rest in Warm Springs
his stamp collection
a few days of leisure
scheduled to come in the second week
to think of him
those final nights
undecided on whether or not to use the atomic bomb,
his stamps, lifting them lovingly with tweezers
war-forgetting consolation, not of philosophy,
but of collecting!
April 9, 1945
It was a Monday
and the painter Elizabeth Shoumatoff
in Warm Springs
met them in an open car
front of a drugstore where
was sipping a Coca Cola)
the president was working on his Jefferson
having trouble gaining it back
yet rising in vigor in the hours with
His final moments were
just before lunch
& smiling w/
Laura Delano, and Margaret Suckley
(both of whom were FDR's cousins)
Elizabeth Shoumatoff was working on
a painting of him
at an easel in the room. It was 1
a terrible pain
the back of my head"
with a cerebral hemorrhage
Roosevelt was scheduled to go on April 20
Francisco for the opening of the UN
Roosevelt was scheduled to decide whether
or not to have a demonstration of
to warn Japan
Roosevelt was scheduled to go to London, Holland & Paris in
Roosevelt was scheduled.........
before 3:30 no breathing
a shot of adrenaline
in the heart
Lucy Mercer and Elizabeth Shoumatoff
tossed their stuff
months later Lucy Mercer
burned all of FDR's letters to her.
I wore out Wilson
In Missouri, my mother came up the
steps to my room
She was trembling & weeping
took us down to the front terrace
the foot of Cemetery Hill
all of us cried together
the passing of the people's hero
My aunt Hiram told the story
of Roosevelt's pet Scottie Fala
and running up a hill
as if it were racing after a Spirit.
what a disaster for
Roosevelt's early death!
the Cold War
the surge of the right
what a gulf it was!
Truman had never been to the White House map room
where Roosevelt ran the war
never been told about the a-bomb
into the gulf
the vim and creativity
FDR had presided
the War Caste as described by
Barnet in his book Rockets' Red Glare:
investment bankers and corporate lawyers
had brought in to manage the war effort
became the core of a new and enduring
the architects of a new American foreign policy."
in Euripides could have wailed
oi & the ai & the ee the passing of Roosevelt commanded
Belsen and Buchenwald
liberated by US and British troops
an experience no diary no photo no image
could fully compare.
Edward R. Murrow, broadcasting to
the Nation from the spot, said,
"I pray you believe what I have said
on the way to his first workday as Leader said,
have been few men in all history the equal
the man into whose shoes I am stepping.
pray God I can measure up to the task."
April 25-June 26
51 nations signed the Charter
the UN founding conference in San Francisco
& American Troops Party on the Elbe
Along the east side of the Elbe River
south of Berlin
the same day as the UN conference
began in S.F.
troops who had driven
westward since the saving of Stalingrad
American soldiers who came from West
jubilation, vodka and beer!
Too bad the comity didn't last
They Tell Truman about the Bomb
Secretary of War Henry Stimson
was alone that afternoon in Truman's
Stimson was 77
a "leading member" of
New York Republican establishment
He'd been asked into the cabinet by
July of '40
help prepare the nation for war
In the other room, unbeknownst to
was General Leslie Groves
of the Manhattan Project
a project about which Truman knew
Stimson handed Truman a two-page memo
"Beginning in four months," it read,
"we shall in all probability have
the most terrible weapon ever known
to human history, one bomb of
which could destroy a whole city....."
Then General Groves was brought to
He was carrying a 25 page report
the status of the Manhattan Project.
They wanted Truman to read it and
ask questions on the spot.
It wasn't going to be able to be tested
said the General.
Stimson wanted to use it on Japan
as soon as possible.
Ditto for the military man.
suggested that an Interim Committee be set
make recommendations on the A-bomb.
a few days later the Committee began to meet
no one with power who really
using the bomb at once
was allowed aboard
Benito Mussolini was captured and
shot on the shore of Lake Como
while trying to escape to Switzerland.
His body was taken to Milan and hung
by the heels
his mistress Claretta Petacci also
in the Piazzale Loreto
to the hate and kicks of the public
It was the same day that Hitler drew
up his will and he and Eva Braun
Dachau was liberated by US soldiers
100 were liberated
Treblinka, Majdanek, Auschwitz, with
its entrance sign:
barracks with five tier bunks
There were many that never really
made the headlines
such as Ohrdruf, Esterwegen, Natzweiler-Struthof
The Allies had ignored years of Jewish
to bomb the gas chambers
the ruins of Berlin
Eva took cyanide
bodies were doused with gas
burned in the garden
with piles of documents
Berlin fell to the Soviets
two partisans, one with a machinegun,
at Ezra Pound's door
with us, traitor"
one of them said
Reims, northeast of Paris
General Alfred Jodl sign
Time in the USA
8 was VE Day
huge celebration in the US of A
was a model of the Statue of Liberty
were there so many nods of relief,
dancing, & shouting for joy
kissed by someone
VE Day in the USSR
Rise of Labour
During the war the Labour Party made
Churchill wanted to keep together
the coalition gov't
-Tories, Labour, Liberal-
till the end of the battle with Japan
but Labour wanted to end the coalition
at Halloween '45
so Churchill resigned this day
to "force" a general election called
Truman "Like a Little Boy on a Toboggan"
Interim Committee that Truman had set up
recommend what to do with the A-bomb
a number of times in May & issued
predetermined suggestions on June 1
Leslie Groves later said
President Truman "was
a little boy on a toboggan
had never had an opportunity to say yes.
he could have said was no."
9-man Committee was freighted with plutocrats
one from more modest realms
had a voice
In addition to the Secretary of War
Henry Stimson from Wall Street
there were three college presidents
Conant of Harvard, Karl Compton of MIT
Bush of the Carnegie Institute in DC
plus Chicago financier Ralph Bard
international trade specialist William
president of New York Life George
& Truman's Sec of State Jimmy
a very conservative Democrat
Committee's first meeting
of War Stimson said, "Gentlemen, it is our responsibility
action that may turn the course of civilization."
final sessions, four physicists were brought
the meetings: Enrico Fermi
Arthur Compton of U of Chi, Ernest O. Lawrence from the
Radiation Laboratory, and J. Robert Oppenheimer,
head of the Los Alamos Laboratory
where the bomb was being built
photos of the time looked
emaciated & scorched
June 1 the Committee and the four scientists
that "the bomb should be used against Japan
soon as possible"
"it should be used without warning."
June was the month
Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes premiered
Fifty countries signed the United
Nations charter in SF
US, British, French & Soviets
zones in Berlin
a hundred foot tower at 5:30 AM
first A-bomb blasted the sand
Alamogordo, New Mexico
miles from Los Alamos
ground zero fused to glass
light of it could be seen 180 miles away
wore strips of dark glass for eye protection
-so dark they turned the sun green
a huge ball of fire
a quickly ascending mushroom
bunker six miles from Zero
a line from the Bhagavad Gita
am become Death,
the Shatterer of worlds...."
as near as I can tell is Chapter XI line 32
'smi lokasayakrt pravrddho...."
Grand Alliance Conference
July 17-August 2
Potsdam near Berlin
the victors met
for the 1st few days
Churchill represented Britain
very much did not want Mr. Truman
alone with Stalin
he was frightened that Harry might
come under the sway of Josef's
had delayed the summit
the a-bomb had successfully fired
Churchill was fully informed about Trinity
Truman only hinted at it to Stalin
when one evening he mentioned that
US had "a new weapon of unusual destructive force"
Stalin replied he hoped that Truman would make
good use of it 'gainst Japan.
was a general agreement to
the defeated Germany
"one economic whole"
was not to be)
was warned of "prompt and utter destruction"
it surrendered unconditionally
Japan said no.
in the morning
met with Lord Mountbatten and General Marshall
which Truman jotted in his diary:
have discovered the most terrible bomb
the history of the world."
he mentioned the successful test in New Mexico,
the fire-storm words:
weapon is to be used against Japan
now and August 10th.
told the Secretary of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it
and soldiers and sailors are the target
not women and children."
of the bigger questions is this:
Franklin Roosevelt have fired off the bomb?
an interview a year after the dropping
said, "a great majority of scientists
opposed to the sudden employment of
didn't think Roosevelt would have allowed it.
bard doesn't either.
General Leslie Groves was given the right
to supervise the choice of a-bomb targets
Groves headed up something called
which met in Oppenheimer's office in Los Alamos
Groves wanted to a-bomb Kyoto
its raked-sand monasteries
(Hiroshima was the second choice)
Secretary of War Stimson demanded to be shown
list of targets
He vetoed Kyoto
In Potsdam in July Gen. Groves made
final attempt to persuade Stimson
allow him to nuke Kyoto
No no no responded Stimson
of no factors to change my decision."
Truman backed him up
Wins Big in England
was a huge yearning in Britain
the end of the war
for a Better World
the war had mixed into a single strata
"class and occupational barriers" of England
like an earthquake at an archeological dig.
humans had value & there was a feeling
all men and women were equal.
had a very powerful
on England's future.
presented to the voters the
Us Face the Future manifesto
a proposal for public ownership and social reform
detailed than ever presented
the nation voted yes
Labour Party won in a landslide
Churchill's Conservative government was out
now held 393 seats in Parliament
unsung moment in
most of the published time-tracks.
began a kind of glory:
national health service, full employment,
British welfare state
a huge program to build housing
was a moment for the world
apparently thought the Tories would win by eighty votes
that the USA was in for a post-war Depression!)
Attlee formed a Labour ministry
brought a new delegation to Potsdam
Toboggan >>>>>>> Hiroshima
U.S. had built three a-bombs
it had already exploded
in New Mexico
now it was time.
It's often said that millions of Americans
might have perished in a Total Surrender
invasion of Japan
especially if the Japanese
fought for every cave & rock-ledge
as they had done, say, on Saipan
in a Total Resistance Divine Wind
theory of war
Many have wondered what would have
if the U.S. had blown up an a-bomb
show the Japanese
but Truman & the military voted
But why Hiroshima? Why not Tokyo?
Probably because Tokyo was already
almost totally destroyed by "regular"
In the vast fire bombing of Tokyo
of March 9 and 10
some of the bomber crews
wafts of burning flesh.
of War Henry
told Truman he was worried
there was so much damage
there would not be enough unbombed turf
for the a-bomb to make its mark.
Truman was prevented from
the full arguments against use of the bomb.
last minute plea by physicist Leo Szilard
supported by many scientists
never given to Truman.
B29 named the Enola Gay
off from the island of Tinian
headed toward Hiroshima
the 400 lb a-bomb known as Little Boy
the way they armed it then
it above the city
twisted into a steep turn
bomb fell 53 seconds
the plane had made its quick turn and
the bomb-blast shook it hard
pilot, Colonel Tibbets, decided to
"go back & take a look."
sun was up on a clear day
they could see the cloud
upward above 33,000 feet
and boiling," as he later wrote.
looked down for signs of Hiroshima
it was nothing but a "black boiling debris"
square miles of total destruction
photo-etched on sidewalks
dead at once
The US was the first country to sign
the UN Charter
The same day, the USSR declared
war on Japan & invaded Manchuria
second bomb was ready
much bigger one
called the Fat Man
one was different from Hiroshima's-
was a plutonium bomb
Hiroshima had been uranium
B-29 named Bock's Car took off from Tinian
on the island of Kyushu
first was the city of Kokura,
but Japanese planes appeared
Bock's Car headed to the second target, Nagasaki.
sky was overcast
suddenly the mists opened wide
and the plute-bomb plopped from the sky
at 11:02 AM
with 40,000 killed
Howard Zinn points out,
second bomb on Nagasaki
to have been scheduled in advance"
might have been an experiment
"Were the dead and irradiated of Nagasaki
victims of a
one has been able to explain why it was dropped."
of course told the lowly soldiers
had lost so many friends while
sweeping the caves of the Pacific
expected ghastly death
the Japanese mainland
after th' evil battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, say,
that the Japanese would never surrender
the last beating heart-
told them that the bombardment (before the nukes)
wiping away Japan
told them that the Russians were on the way
of the peace feelers from Japan
or that it would have been over soon.
were merely happy
the a-bombs seemed
end it quick
Threatened with Espionage Charge
for Proposing Debate on A-Bomb
the military-industrial-surrealists would not allow
scientists to engage in any kind of public debate
your shoulders in the labs little creeps!
grrrred the mil-ind-surr's
instance, before the attack on Japan
physicist Leo Szilard sent a petition
signed by 68 Chicago scientists
to a-bomb Japan without explicit warning.
Groves had refused to let Harry Truman see it
ordered the petition marked "secret"
Nagasaki Szilard wrote the White House
the petition freed
to publish it in Science
military threatened to have Szilard fired from his job
prosecuted under the Espionage Act
The World Zionist Congress
demanded that 1,000,000 Jews be admitted
the rationing of gas and fuel oil
in the USA ended
and Truman ended wartime censorship
except for strict and spank-spankish
writing about radiation or
true effects on Hiroshima & Nagasaki.
The nuclear war-caste was fearful
adverse word on radiation sickness
leaking to the masses
MacArthur arrived in Yokohama to take
charge on August 30
with a censoring mind. He said that
go to Hir or Nag
Australian war correspondent Wilfred
hungry for a scoop
from Tokyo to Hiroshima September 2
the bomb zone as a "death-stricken alien planet"
sulphurous smell & white masks on scurrying people
he saw in a hospital were "dying," he wrote,
though seemingly uninjured by the a-blast
Burchett called the "atomic plague"
story he eased past censors
the front page of the London Daily Express.
September a "junket" of reporters came to Hiroshima
banned the use of gasoline for all flights
might wend Hiroshima-ward
Japan formally surrendered on the
USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay
World War II Mortalities
& Commonwealth 466,000
in the fall of 1945
During the war
more than 2 million Vietnamese had
died of starvation
under the evil furnace of Japan.
and then on September 2
Ho Chi Minh proclaimed an independent
Republic of Vietnam
the French refused to recognize it)
was a huge celebration
a million people
Hanoi late that year
the revolutionaries issued a Declaration of Independence
the language, "The whole Vietnamese people,
by a common purpose, are determined to fight
bitter end against any attempt by the French colonialists
so it would be.
England had taken the south of Indochina
and returned it to the French
The US persuaded Chiang Kai-shek whose
forces owned the northern
of Indochina to give it also to the French
less than a year later, in November of '46
French bombarded Haiphong
and the eight-year war 'tween the Vietminh
Japan had controlled Korea for 35
and after WW2 it was divided into
& South along the 38th parallel
a decision made at Potsdam
North was under Soviet sway
the South a right wing dictatorship
swayed by America
The Korean People's Republic was announced
on September 6
while on the 8th US troops landed
and set up a "military administration"
refusing to recognize the Republic.
President Truman came up with a
21 point proposal
called, for instance, for guaranteed
the right wing of his own party
the conservative class structure
by the time the Full Employment Act of '46 was
on February 20, '46
not even mentioned
Things are Fine at Trinity
gurgle-gaggle of US reporters
in canvas over-
driven to the Trinity Site
click a basic message of
to the nation
Leslie Groves escorted the reporters-
driver was Patrick Stout, age 29
posed for photos down in the Trinity blast crater
years later Stout was slugged with leukemia
that was 1967
he passed away in '69
shat down a harsh censorship on Japan
John Hersey's Hiroshima
delayed for two years in Japan
the Authors League of America's complaints
it to press
The All India Congress Committee under
Gandhi and Nehru
said no to British proposals for self gov't
called upon Britain to "quit India."
the great Bélà Bártok
passed away of leukemia
5 years in exile in NYC
at Columbia U
Yugoslavian folk tunes
A breakdown of talks 'tween Mao and
& fighting began 'tween Nationalists
control of Manchuria
Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon formed
the Arab League
announcing that a Jewish state in
Palestine would lead to war
to the Left in France
for national sharing
French Gov't soon nationalized the Bank of France
other private banks, Air France
Note: Some of the graphics in this poem were lost in translation,
prompting the Corpse to come up with alternative solutions.
For example, in the section called "Roosevelt's Stroke,"
images of Roosevelt were replaced by the word "Roosevelt."
Also, in another situation, the symbols ">>>>>>>"
were used in place of an arrow. The Kyoto section also involved
an imagistic sacrifice.