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WWII Atomic Bomb and Nuremberg Trials
Transcript of WWII Atomic Bomb and Nuremberg Trials
Nagasaki and Hiroshima
The Enola Gay returns to Tinian Island after bombing Hiroshima
How the Atomic Bomb was created:
1. The atomic bomb was created in the south western desert of the United States under top secret conditions.
The Manhattan Project was run by Dr. Robert Oppenheimer
2. The Germans and Americans had been racing to complete the bomb first. However because Germany persecuted many of the top scientists(who were Jewish), they fell behind.
Why did Truman drop the bomb?
1. The army estimated that it would have cost between 500,000 to 1,000,000 soldiers lives to mount a successful full scale invasion of Japan.
2. Truman wanted an unconditional surrender of Japan.
When was the bomb dropped?
1. President Truman issued his executive order to drop the bomb on July 26th 1945.
2. The Army created a list of 4 military targets and the bomb would be dropped depending on weather conditions. The first available target was the industrial city of Hiroshima.
The bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th 1945. The bombs nickname was "Little Boy."
4. The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki after the Japanese government failed to offer their unconditional surrender. The bomb, nicknamed "Fat Man" was dropped on August 9th 1945.
1. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were utterly destroyed. Over thirty thousand people were killed at Hiroshima when the bomb was exploded. Over twenty thousand were killed at Nagasaki.
2. Over the span of four months tens of thousands more died of various illnesses that can be attributed to radiation exposure.
*Killed and wounded at Hiroshima-150,000
*Killed and wounded at Nagasaki-75,000
3. America sent a strong message to Josef Stalin that we had a weapon that he could not counter. It was a strong signal that we were the worlds only nuclear superpower.
President Truman told his diary on July 25, 1945, that he had ordered the bomb used.
Emphasis has been added to highlight Truman's apparent belief that he had ordered the bomb dropped on a "purely military" target, so that "military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children."
We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark.
Anyway we "think" we have found the way to cause a disintegration of the atom. An experiment in the New Mexico desert was startling - to put it mildly. Thirteen pounds of the explosive caused the complete disintegration of a steel tower 60 feet high, created a crater 6 feet deep and 1,200 feet in diameter, knocked over a steel tower 1/2 mile away and knocked men down 10,000 yards away. The explosion was visible for more than 200 miles and audible for 40 miles and more.
This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new.
He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I'm sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler's crowd or Stalin's did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful...
Truman quoted in Robert H. Ferrell, Off the Record: The Private Papers of Harry S. Truman (New York: Harper and Row, 1980) pp. 55-56. Truman's writings are in the public domain.
"I had been conscious of depression and so I voiced to (Sec. Of War Stimson) my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at this very moment, seeking a way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face.' "
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower
"P.M. [Churchill} & I ate alone. Discussed Manhattan (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P.M. of telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace."
- President Harry S. Truman
Diary Entry, July 18, 1945
"Some of my conclusions may invoke acorn and even ridicule.
"For example, I offer my belief that the existence of the first atomic bombs may have prolonged -- rather than shortened - World War II by influencing Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and President Harry S. Truman to ignore an opportunity to negotiate a surrender that would have ended the killing in the Pacific in May or June of 1945.
"And I have come to view the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings that August as an American tragedy that should be viewed as a moral atrocity."
- Stewart L. Udall
US Congressman and
Author of "Myths of August"
A nuclear weapon of the
type, the plutonium implosion type detonated over Nagasaki. 60 inches in diameter and 128 inches long, the weapon weighed about 10,000 pounds
A nuclear weapon of the
type, the uranium gun-type detonated over Hiroshima. It is 28 inches in diameter and 120 inches long. "Little Boy" weighed about 9,000 pounds.
Nagasaki-August 9, 1945
1st nuclear weapon in the world
August 6, 1945.
A Uranium bomb was dropped in Hiroshima City. It was estimated that its energy was equivalent to 15 kilotons of TNT. This is an aerial photograph from the 80 kilometers away of the Inland Sea, taken about 1 hour after the dropping.
Enola Gay Crew
Pilot Paul Tibbets named the B-29 after his mother
There had been four cities chosen as possible targets: Hiroshima, Kokura, Nagasaki, and Niigata. None of these cities were bombed heavily throughout the war. The Target Committee wanted the first bomb to be grand, noteworthy, and spectacular so the international community would take notice.
The bomb exploded 1,900 feet above the city and only missed the target, the Aioi Bridge, by approximately 800 feet.
Nagasaki was not the intended target:
By the time 'Bockscar' got near to its primary target, Kokura, it became clear that the weather was an issue. The city was covered
by cloud. The pilot circled city three times but the cloud remained. Worrying about lack of fuel, Sweeney moved on to the next target-Nagasaki.
Nagasaki was a major shipbuilding city and a large military port. However, it was not a targeted city because it had been bombed several times during the war and the destruction it caused would be hard to measure
August 6th 1945
August 9th 1945
Truman: Dropping the Bomb on Hiroshima
Ending World War II: Dropping Atomic Bombs and the Nuremberg Trials
Hiroshima: August 6, 1945
After Hiroshima, the Japanese still refused to surrender...
"If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth."
Statements on the bomb dropping:
Victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki speak out:
Germany surrendered May 1945
Allies won Battle of Okinawa and Iwo Jima
Now, the focus is on the surrender of Japan and restoring post-war Europe
July 17-August 2 1945: Near Berlin
Truman, Stalin and Churchill all attended
July 26: Issued a declaration demanding the unconditional surrender of Japan
The rest of the Conference was dedicated to Post-War Europe.
Soon after he arrives at the conference, Truman receives the news of a successful atomic bomb test. He tell Churchill but only mentions a "new weapon" to Stalin.
The Manhattan Project:
1939-Einstein writes a letter to Roosevelt urging to start development of atomic research program
1941: American begin designing and building an atomic bomb under a code name "The Manhattan Project"
December 1942: Italian scientist Enrico Fermi and group of physicists create the first controlled nuclear chain reaction at the University of Chicago
Nuclear facilities are built in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Hanford, Washington and Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Roberto Oppenheimer was in charge in Los Alamos
The Manhattan Project employed 120,000 Americans
Secrecy was critical-Vice President Truman did not know about the Manhattan Project until he became president
July 16, 1954: detonation of world's first atomic bomb at the Trinity Site in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Results: You could see the flash of the bomb from 200 miles away and windows of civilian homes 100 miles away were blown out
Dr. Robert Oppenheimer
Inspecting the detonation site-Trinity
The Nuremberg Trials: 1945-1949
What to do with the people responsible for the mass murder of the European Jews?
- execution of 50,000-100,000 German staff officers
-summary execution or execution without trials of high-ranking Nazi officials
Difficulties of the Nuremberg Trials:
1. There was no precedent for international trial of war criminals. All war crime trials in the past had been conducted according to one nation's laws-
International Military Tribunal
2. France, Great Britain, The United States and The Soviet Union had different legal traditions and practices
3. Different languages
War Crimes of the Nuremberg Trials
August 5, 1945: The London Charter of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) establishes 4 categories of war crimes:
1. Conspiracy to Wage Aggressive War:
2.Crimes Against Peace:
planning, preparing, starting or waging war of aggression or wars in violation of international agreements (Treaty of Versailles)
3. War Crimes:
violations of customs of laws of war including the improper treatment of civilians and prisoners of war. *Civilian officials and military officials could be accused of war crimes
4. Crimes Against Humanity:
murder, enslavement, deportation of civilians or persecution on political, religious or racial grounds. (Concentration Camps, Death Camps)
24 men were indicted:
Only 21 were present at the Nuremberg Trials
Secretary to Hitler, Head of the Nazi Party Chancellery
Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy
Governor-General of occupied Poland
Minister of the Interior
Head of the Wireless News Service (radio produced by the Reich)
Minister of Economics
Second-in-command to Hitler, Luftwaffe (Air Force) Chief, President of Reichstag
Deputy to Hitler, Nazi Party Leader
Chief of Operations for the German High Command (Army)
Chief of Security Police, Chief of RSHA (an organization containing, among other things, the Austrian branches of the SS and the Gestapo)
Chief of Staff of the German High Command
ander-in-chief of the German Navy (before Doenitz)
Minister of the Eastern Occupied Territories, Chief Nazi Philosopher
Head of Slave Labor Recruitment
Minister of Economics (pre-war), President of Reichsbank
Chancellor of Austria, Reich Commissioner of the Netherlands
Minister of Armaments and Munitions,
Hitler’s architect and friend
Editor of Der Sturmer (anti-Semitic publication)
Konstantin von Neurath:
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia
Franz von Papen:
Chancellor of Reich before Hitler, Vice Chancellor under Hitler, Ambassador to Turkey
Joachim von Ribbentrop:
Foreign Minister, Ambassador to Great Britain
Baldur von Schirach:
Head of the Hitler Youth
Nuremberg Trial Activity:
1. Read the biography paragraph about the potential defendant.
Write down defendant's name and occupation on piece of paper
2. Decide whether the individual you studied should be charged with one or more of the crimes or acquitted (freed from charges).
Write down which categories his crime falls under
*Consider whether this person had a LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY to carry out his or her actions.
3. Are there any signs of "moral guilt" within your biography paragraph?
Who are the potential defendants?
The potential defendants were all somehow involved in the Third Reich. Some individuals were defendants at the Nuremberg trials; some had been involved in various roles at the death camps and others had been members of organizations that were crucial to carrying out the military and genocidal policies of the Third Reich.
Nuremberg Trial Activity Objectives:
1.Consider questions of moral guilt and legal responsibility during the Holocaust
2. Read a biography of a potential defendant involved in the Nazi war effort and analyze their respective role with a partner
3.Determine whether or not a potential defendant should have been held accountable for one or more of the charges against defendants at the Nuremberg Trials.
4. Decide which, if any, of the charges were applicable to each individual and explain why.
The whole conspiracy idea is cockeyed. We had orders to obey the head of state. We weren't a band of criminals meeting in the woods in the dead of night to plan mass murders...The four real conspirators are missing: The Fuhrer, Himmler, Bormann, and Goebbels." (1/5/46)
Director of the four year plan
President of Reichstag (parliament)
Committed suicide the day before his scheduled hanging by swallowing cyanide tablets
*3 acquitted, 12 sentenced to death, 7 sentenced to jail time
1. Moral Guilt
2. Legal Responsibility
Come up with working definitions for the following terms:
Japanese Surrender: September 2, 1945
General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff, signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, on board USS Missouri (BB-63), 2 September 1945.
Watching on are Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.
Hirohito-Radio Broadcast to Japanese People
But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone--the gallant fighting of our military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of out servants of the State and the devoted service of our 100,000,000 people--the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.
Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.
Such being the case, how are we to save the millions of our subjects, nor to atone ourselves before the hallowed spirits of our imperial ancestors? This is the reason why we have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the joint declaration of the powers.
August 14, 1945
1. Recognize why the international setting of the Nuremberg Trials was problematic for the following nations-The U.S., Great Britain, The Soviet Union, France
2. Identify the four categories of war crimes used during the Nuremberg Trial
Do you think more people who participated in the Nazi war effort should be accountable for the atrocities we have studied in our World War II unit? What about the civilians of German towns who claimed that they had no idea what was going on?
*Intimidate the Soviets and check Stalin's ambitions to exploit his power in Eastern Europe
Oak Ridge, Tennessee: Where Uranium for first atomic bomb was produced.