By Joseph Rotblat
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Additional resources for A Quest for Global Peace: Rotblat and Ikeda on War, Ethics and the Nuclear Threat
Ikeda: A major development in the war in 1944 was that in January, the Soviet troops were able to break the over 900-day siege of Leningrad. Then, in May, German troops retreated from the Crimean Peninsula. Also, on June 6, Operation Overlord, part of the Normandy campaign, was launched, and within approximately ninety days, the Allied Powers were able to win back all of France from the Nazis. On the Pacific front, in 1944, the Japanese had failed in their Imphal campaign. In July, Japanese forces had been completely annihilated in Saipan.
All the preparations had been made, and in June 1940, I received a message informing me that Tola had actually boarded the train bound for the Italian border. Ikeda: By this time, nearly a year had passed since you had returned to Poland to bring your wife back to England. It must have been a very, very long year for you. Rotblat: Unfortunately, I received the news about my wife’s journey at the same time that we learned that Mussolini had declared war on England. For a time after that, I clung to the hope that, since my wife already had a visa, she would somehow be able to reach Italy, and then it would be easier for her to leave Italy than Poland.
This is because I knew that the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima was just the first step in an extended program of nuclear weapons development. fm Page 19 Friday, August 18, 2006 5:08 PM HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI 19 At that time, I knew that the hydrogen bomb existed, but it was highly classified. I knew about it because my office at Los Alamos was right next to Edward Teller’s office. Teller was the scientist who developed the hydrogen bomb, and we spoke frequently. So that is why I knew that a weapon possessing a thousand times more destructive power would be developed next.
A Quest for Global Peace: Rotblat and Ikeda on War, Ethics and the Nuclear Threat by Joseph Rotblat