October 28, 1994
MEMO TO: Monroe Hatch
Info: Aubin, Giese, Goss
SUBJECT: Enola Gay Script # 5
FROM: John Correll
The Smithsonian delivered the latest revision (#5) of
the Enola Gay script to us Wednesday afternoon.
Line-by-line comparison with the previous "interim"
version (#4) is surprising in that the changes in the
489-page product are so few and so minor.
In the 275 text pages, we find only 26 instances
of change, all marginal adjustments at the word or line
level. Some of these were significant, such as
elimination of such offensive lines as "nothing further
stood in the way of using the atomic bomb" (200
60), but our tally of 26 changes also includes some
pretty small stuff, e.g., "destructive" rather than
"efficient and destructive" to describe the hydrogen
bomb (200 17), B-29 "development and production"
rather than "production" (300 2), and the
insertion of "in addition" (500 14).
We found no change whatsoever in the 214 graphics
Except for one minor instance, the critical "Ground
Zero" section -- text, photos, artifacts, and structure
-- is identical to what we saw last time. The
only change is on page 400 33, which now says
that later death counts for Hiroshima and Nagasaki were
"more detailed" rather than "more accurate," and adds
that "the exact numbers will never be known."
As before, the add-on Section 000 consists of nine
pages said to be a "partial representation" of things to
There is no indication of willingness to balance the
attention (words, pictures, and video "testimony) of the
hibakusha ("explosion affected persons") with
attention to another group of people-- disabled American
veterans -- for whom the suffering continued. We have
now raised this point twice to the Smithsonian with no
Our written comments -- supplemented by our extensive
comments in the three-hour meeting with Smithsonian
officials October 19 -- about the military and strategic
perspectives of the bombing campaign seem to have had
little or no effect. The emphasis continues to be on
death and destruction.
There is still what might be called an "emphasis gap"
on the pre-1945 attitudes and actions of Japan and the
-- Bushido and the fight-to-the-death
ethic still sound like something that Tojo invented
and imposed in 1941. (000 7)
-- The wanton slaughter of civilians at Nanking
-- which exceeded the death toll of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki combined -- still gets only passing notice.
-- More than a month ago, we provided
Smithsonian officials with information about 12
Asian-American groups that want to help tell the full
story of Japan's long war of aggression. It does not
appear that any contact has yet been made.
We suggested that rather than using all 4,000 square
feet of additional floor space for a grafted-on,
unincorporated preamble (section 000) that the curators
consider reallocating some space, moving some walls, and
making some real changes. That does not appear to be
part of their plan.
Basic-- and unfortunate -- assessment: Minor and
marginal improvements, but continuation of the
structural and ideological bias we identified before.
Given the limited changes from Revision #4 to Revision
#5, most of our previous comments still stand.
To be totally fair to the Smithsonian, we should
recognize that of the 26 word-and-line changes, the
following 12 revisions respond (at least nominally) to
AFA's detailed analysis of Interim Script # 4, which we
faxed to the Smithsonian on October 17.
-- Page 000 2 now stipulates that the
United States was engaged in "a just war against
Japanese aggression in the Pacific."
-- The curators have added the word
"contingency" to pre-Pearl Harbor plans for bombing
Japan (100 32). (This change is too minor to
-- A dozen or so words added (100 34)
about reduced industrial output -- specifically oil
and aluminum -- as a result of B-29 bombing.
-- Some shifting around of words (200 13)
on curators' speculation that the US was prompted to
use the bomb in order to justify the cost of its
development. Net effect, however, is that the
-- Wall label title changed from "Japan Looks
for a Way Out of the War" to "Japan Seeks a Negotiated
Peace" (200 23). Net effect: Different words,
-- Recognition that Emperor Hirohito "did not
discourage Japanese expansionist policies in Asia" in
the 1930s (200 25).
-- Elimination of claim that Magic and Ultra
intercepts yielded a "confusing" picture of Japanese
intentions. (200 29)
-- Elimination of the offensive line, "nothing
further stood in the way of using the bomb." (200
-- Elimination of the item we had logged under
"Strange Entries" about the Indianapolis survivors
turning on each other "in their extreme delirium." (300
-- Insertion of Hirohito statement (500
10) that "The peace party did not prevail until the
bombing of Hiroshima created a situation that could be
-- Retitling of a wall label (500 11)
from "Enduring the Unendurable" to "Shock and
Surrender." This stops short of emphatically making
the point we identified: that use of the bomb led to
-- Transposition of last and next to last
paragraphs in script (500 21) to avoid ending
on a pejorative note.
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