Do read these extensive supporting notes.
There is a story that circulates about the Jesuit priests that were only eight blocks from the epicenter of the Hiroshima bomb, who all survived the blast.
A number of accounts differ on the details; distance from the blast, harm done to the priests. However, parts of Father Siemes’ account concur with the miraculous story.
“Father Cieslik and Father Kleinsorge have minor injuries but are completely exhausted.”
“Fukai, the secretary of the Mission, is completely unhurt”.
And concerning the building, “Everything was thrown about in the rooms themselves, but the wooden framework of the house remained intact. The solidity of the structure which was the work of Brother Gropper again shone forth.”
See this rare interview of Father Siemes, who was outside Hiroshima when the blast occurred, and refer back to the associated written accounts, which I have quoted here, and included links for.
Source of US military film:
Father Siemes interview is found at:
One story of the Hiroshima miracle found at:
Do note that there were two buildings.
A Parish House, in the city of Hiroshima, containing at least: Father Schiffer, Father Superior LaSalle, Father Kleinsorge, Father Cieslik, and Fukai, the secretary of the Mission. “A theology student and two kindergarten children”
The Novitiate, another building was outside Hiroshima, in Nagatsuke. Containing at least: Father Siemes, Father Rektor, Father Stolte and Father Erlinghagen. Also Father Kopp, who on day of the atomic blast, went to hold mass at “a home for children at the edge of the city”.
There is also Father Luhmer and Father Laures, who seem to be associated with the Novitiate, outside the city .
Soon comes news that the entire city has been destroyed by the explosion and that it is on fire. What became of Father Superior and the three other Fathers who were at the center of the city at the Central Mission and Parish House? We had up to this time not given them a thought because we did not believe that the effects of the bomb encompassed the entire city
At about four o’clock in the afternoon, a theology student and two kindergarten children, who lived at the Parish House and adjoining buildings which had burned down, came in and said that Father Superior LaSalle and Father Schiffer had been seriously injured and that they had taken refuge in Asano Park on the river bank. It is obvious that we must bring them in since they are too weak to come here on foot.
Finally we reach the entrance of the park. …
At the far corner of the park, on the river bank itself, we at last come upon our colleagues. Father Schiffer is on the ground pale as a ghost. He has a deep incised wound behind the ear and has lost so much blood that we are concerned about his chances for survival. The Father Superior has suffered a deep wound of the lower leg. Father Cieslik and Father Kleinsorge have minor injuries but are completely exhausted.
While they are eating the food that we have brought along, they tell us of their experiences. They were in their rooms at the Parish House–it was a quarter after eight, exactly the time when we had heard the explosion in Nagatsuke–when came the intense light and immediately thereafter the sound of breaking windows, walls and furniture. They were showered with glass splinters and fragments of wreckage. Father Schiffer was buried beneath a portion of a wall and suffered a severe head injury. The Father Superior received most of the splinters in his back and lower extremity from which he bled copiously. Everything was thrown about in the rooms themselves, but the wooden framework of the house remained intact. The solidity of the structure which was the work of Brother Gropper again shone forth.
They had the same impression that we had in Nagatsuke: that the bomb had burst in their immediate vicinity. The Church, school, and all buildings in the immediate vicinity collapsed at once. Beneath the ruins of the school, the children cried for help. They were freed with great effort. Several others were also rescued from the ruins of nearby dwellings. Even the Father Superior and Father Schiffer despite their wounds, rendered aid to others and lost a great deal of blood in the process.
Fukai, the secretary of the Mission, is completely out of his mind. He does not want to leave the house and explains that he does not want to survive the destruction of his fatherland. He is completely uninjured. Father Kleinsorge drags him out of the house on his back and he is forcefully carried away.
(A good question is, since the priests inside Hiroshima actually survived the blast, why didn’t the US military interview them?)