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The photo captures a boy carrying his dead brother on his shoulders while he waits for his turn at the crematory. It was taken by US Marine photographer Joe O’Donnell shortly after the bombs were dropped at the end of World War II.
The leader of the world’s Roman Catholics asked that “the fruit of war” be written in the back of the card along with his signature “Franciscus.”
A short caption explains the content and origin of the photo, it reads in part: “The young boy’s sadness is expressed only in his gesture of biting his lips which are oozing blood.”
After the bombs dropped by the US on Nagasaki and Hiroshima forced Japan’s surrender and ended World War II in 1945, O’Donnell spent four years documenting the aftermath in the two cities, according to Library of Congress records.