July 2014, Hiroshima
In July 2014, my travels brought me to Hiroshima. On August 6th, 1945 the first nuclear bomb detonated over Hiroshima. Walking around the memorial side and walking through the museum, I tried to imagine how sudden the nuclear explosion changed the face of the city and how much pain it brought to its citizens. Dropping the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki three day later ended World War II also in Japan.
Social reality and curiosity
Was dropping the bombs' only reason to end a war? In the Hiroshima museum also additional reasons are named, such as demonstrating military power to Soviet Union or justifying the immense costs of the creation of the bomb, what was cold the Manhattan Project. Ground zero -- the center of the explosion -- not only became the center of destruction and death it also became a focus of scientific research on how efficient a nuclear bomb is able to kill people, as Hugh Gutterson describes in his book 'People of the bomb.'
I didn't find an answer to what I saw in the museum and learned about the Hiroshima tragedy. The bomb is a massive attack on human dignity, it is a weapon. A war is an attack on human dignity as such. I got interested to learn more about different narratives and views on war and on the nuclear arsenal. I was surprised to see how many nuclear bombs had been disarmed already, yet I also noticed still many nuclear arms hold by nuclear armed states. I was surprised and realized I am born into a world of nuclear forces. I wanted to learn more.
A long afternoon
Ringing the peace bell did not bring much relieve. Still nuclear arms in the world, I thought that Japan is the only country in the world, that experienced a mayor nuclear accident (in Fukushima 2011) and the dropping of nuclear bombs (in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1945). What are these events telling us? What do we, as human beings, learn from this events? What do the suffering souls tell us?
When visiting Hiroshima in 2014, I did not know that I will get involved in nuclear disarmament. And still, I realized that something is necessary to do. We cannot keep the idea of a nuclear war alive for ever. I want it to stop, and I want to walk for disarmament and peace through our world.