William Schull, a 94-year-old U.S. scholar who has spent decades studying the health effects of the U.S. atomic bombings, is a man conflicted who still longs to learn from the tragedies of World War II.

On the one hand, he believes the atomic bombings were an inevitable consequence to end a war Japan started with the U.S. with its surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. But war itself, he said, is “the most brutal of human behavior.”

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