On 29 August 1945, ICRC delegate Fritz Bilfinger arrived in Hiroshima and was the first outsider to witness the devastation wrought by the atomic bomb. The next day, he sent a telegram to the ICRC delegation in Tokyo describing the horrific conditions and calling for immediate relief action; this action was subsequently organized by Dr Marchel Junod ,who had arrived in Japan as the ICRC’s head of delegation on 9 August 1945. Dr Junod would later travel to Hiroshima to witness for himself the scale of the destruction there. The following is Bilfinger’s report (including annexes), dated 24 October 1945, detailing the effects of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima as he witnessed them three weeks after the bomb was dropped on 6 August 1945. It was confidential at the time of writing. It was made public in January 1996 and is being reproduced in full, with annexes, for the first time in the pages of the Review. The ICRC's public archives are available for consultation by the public, by appointment.
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