Letter from President Truman to
Senator Richard Russell, August 9 1945
I know that Japan is a terribly cruel and uncivilized nation in warfare but I can't bring myself to believe that, because they are beasts, we should ourselves act in the same manner.
For myself, I certainly regret the necessity of wiping out whole populations because of the 'pigheadedness' of the leaders of a nation and, for your information, I am not going to do it until it is absolutely necessary...
My object is to save as many American lives as possible but I also have a humane feeling for the women and children in Japan.