Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein was regarded as the most brilliant physicist of his time As a German Jew he immigrated to the U.S. after the Nazis took away his citizenship and seized his property.
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Through his connections in the German science community, he had knowledge that Hitler was intrigued with the idea of developing an atomic bomb
After considering what Einstein recommended, Roosevelt was persuaded that if the bomb could be built, the U.S. should be the first nation to build it
The Manhattan Project was so secret that when Truman took over, he didn’t even know about it.
Many in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations felt that the prospect of using the bomb was no more inhumane than the massive fire bombing raids that had taken place over Germany and Tokyo.
According to the Truman administration, the Japanese could be persuaded to end the war only by shocking and dramatic evidence that resistance was foolish, and that the U.S. had the power to destroy Japan completely.
On August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima
60% of city instantly destroyed
Ground temperature: 7,000 degrees Fahrenheit
(Boiling water temperature is 212 degrees)
20,000 tons of TNT
62,000 buildings destroyed
When the bomb on Hiroshima was dropped, the flash heat started fires a mile away.
And when we ran through the roads between houses still burning on both sides, the scorching heat nearly overwhelmed us.
I didn't see any living creatures or green plants. We ran and ran through these empty spaces.
Then suddenly I stopped.
Something was coming toward me. It was a man but he didn't look like a man. He had no hair, his face was swollen to about twice the normal size, and loose skin hung down from his arms and legs like seaweed.
He was walking towards me and I was so scared I tried to avoid him.
I heard him saying 'Water, water' as he passed me.
So I turned around to go to him but he had collapsed, dead. “
The Truman administration’s explanation for dropping the bomb was not accepted by everyone
Critics of the decision say Japan was already prepared to negotiate an end to the war, so dropping the bomb was not necessary
Critics note that in the immediate aftermath, Truman stated that it saved “thousands” of lives and through the years, it became “over a million”
They suggest that Japan was already prepared to negotiate an end to the war
They also cite evidence that Japanese diplomats in Europe let it be known that Japan was interested in ended the war.
“My own feeling was that in being first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.”
- Said in 1950 by Admiral William Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Roosevelt
“My chief purpose was to end the war in victory with the least possible cost in the lives of the men in the armies which I had helped to raise…I believe that no man holding in his hands a weapon of such possibilities for accomplishing this purpose and saving those lives, could have failed to use it and afterwards looked his countrymen in the face.” - Henry L. Stimson, Truman’s Secretary of War
Other critics suggest the bomb could have been exploded on some uninhabited target in full view of the Japanese, so they could see its terrible, devastating effect.
They could have been warned that if they did not surrender the bomb would be used on one of their cities.
It is immoral to drop a radioactive bomb on a civilian population
Many criticize the U.S. for so quickly dropping the second bomb on Nagasaki
They argue that there was hardly enough time for the Japanese to evaluate the damage at Hiroshima and decide what to do