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Oppenheimer reportedly apologized, cried in 1964 meeting with A-bomb victim

Robert Oppenheimer, known as the "father of the atomic bomb," reportedly apologized to an atomic bomb survivor during a closed-door meeting in the United States in 1964, recently…


  • Jun 20 2024
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Oppenheimer reportedly apologized, cried in 1964 meeting with A-bomb victim
Oppenheimer reportedly apologized, cried in 1964 meeting with A-bomb victim

Robert Oppenheimer, known as the "father of the atomic bomb," reportedly apologized to an atomic bomb survivor during a closed-door meeting in the United States in 1964, recently found footage showed.

The apology came during an interaction between Oppenheimer and others including the late Naomi Shono, an A-bomb survivor from Hiroshima who was also a theoretical scientist, the late Yoko Teichler said in the 2015 footage in Japanese. Teichler was an interpreter at the meeting.

During the 50-minute footage held by non-profit organization Hiroshima-based World Friendship Center, the interpreter said that Oppenheimer had started crying as soon as he entered the room and apologized repeatedly.

Oppenheimer, who helped develop the U.S. atomic bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 in the closing days of World War II, did not visit either city during his 1960 trip to Japan.

But he later met Shono, who toured eight countries on a "World Peace Study Mission" in 1964. The footage includes interviews with Teichler and two other people who took part in the tour.

"It is surprising that there are records of him apologizing. It must be a consolation for the hibakusha to hear an apology from the person who was responsible for the development (of the bomb)," said Noriyuki Kawano, director of the Center for Peace, Hiroshima University.

"But it is necessary to consider who and what he was apologizing for at the time," he added.

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