75 years after Hiroshima:
Commemoration of the past and risks for the future
On August 6, 75 years ago, the first atomic bomb with the insane name “Little Boy” fell on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. 140,000 people died, directly or indirectly, from injuries and radiation damage. The pilot had “Enola Gay” – his mother’s name – affixed to his plane. Three days later the Americans dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki (“Fat Man”). Kokura was actually intended as a target, but the weather and visibility were too bad.
In Nagasaki another 70,000 to 80,000 people were killed. The Second World War was practically over, Japan capitulated in the following weeks. But mankind was one horror richer.
Was the bomb dropped to end the war quickly (US President Truman: it saved the lives of 500,000 American and hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers), was it about a demonstration of power against the Soviet Union, was it about trying out the “new weapon”? How do we deal with the nuclear threat today, how can we minimize it?
We will deal with this topic in an online discussion on August 6 (Hiroshima Day). We have already recorded interesting interviews on this topic with the Japanese scientist Prof. Dr. Luli van der Does-Ishikawa from the Center for Peace at Hiroshima University, and the German diplomat Dr. Jasper Wieck, the Foreign Office’s representative for East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific, which we will record. The Japanologist and historian Prof. Dr. Florian Coulmas will be live. If everything works out technically, there will be two short film clips about the bombing and from the Stanley Kubrick film “Dr. Strangelove”.
It’s worth switching on. The discussion runs on Zoom, but can also be followed on Facebook.
The discussion takes place in the context of PEACE LINE. The aim of the project, which is run by the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge with financial support from the Federal Foreign Office, is to travel with young adults from European countries along a route of memorials and places of remembrance. The participants will learn a lot about 20th century European history, get to know each other and exchange their different views (narratives) on the events of war and peace, division and unification in Europe. The Federal Agency for Civic Education and histoCON are partners in this project.
Date: 6. August 2020; 6 p.m. Berlin time