Eyewitness account of Father P. Siemes August 6th 1945
From my window, I have a wonderful view down the valley to the edge of the city. Suddenly --- the time is approximately 8:15 -- the whole valley is filled by a garish light which resembles the Magnesium light used in photography, and I am conscious of a wave of heat. I jump to the window to find out the cause of this remarkable phenomenon, but I see nothing more than that brilliant yellow light. As I make for the door, it doesn't occur to me that the light might have something to do with enemy planes. On the way from the window, I hear a moderately loud explosion which seems to come from a distance and, at the same time, the windows are broken in with a loud crash. There has been an interval of perhaps ten seconds since the flash of light. I am sprayed by fragments of glass. The entire window frame has been forced into the room. I realize now that a bomb has burst and I am under the impression that it exploded directly over our house or in the immediate vicinity. I am bleeding from cuts about the hands and head. I attempt to get out of the door. It has been forced outwards by the air pressure and has become jammed. I forced an opening in the door by means of repeated blows with my hands and feet and come to a broad hall-way from which open the various rooms. Everything is in a state of confusion. All windows are broken and all the doors are forced inwards. The book-shelves in the hall-way have tumbled down. I do not note a second explosion and the fliers seem to have gone on. A few are bleeding in the room, but none has been seriously injured. All of us have been fortunate since it is now apparent the wall of my room opposite the window has been lacerated by long fragments of glass. We proceed to the front of the house to see where the bomb has landed. There is no evidence, however, of a bomb crater; but the southeast section of the house is severely damaged. Not a door nor a window remains. The blast of air had penetrated the entire house from the southeast, but the house still stands. It is constructed in the Japanese style with a wooden framework, but has been greatly strengthened by the labor of our Brother Gropper as is frequently done in Japanese homes. Only along the front of the chapel which adjoins the house have three supports given away (it has been made in the manner of a Japanese temple, entirely out of wood). Down in the valley, perhaps one kilometer towards the city from us, several peasant homes are on fire and the woods on the opposite side of the valley are aflame. A few of us go over to help control the flames. While we are attempting to put things in order, a storm comes up and it begins to rain. Over the city, clouds of smoke are rising and I hear a few slight explosions. I come to the conclusion that an incendiary bomb with an especially strong explosive action has gone off down in the valley. A few of us saw three planes at great altitude over the city at the time of the explosion. I, myself, saw no aircraft whatsoever.