|The Hiroshima Appeal
After leaving Africa. The Paulings attended the Fifth World Conference Against Atomic
and Hydrogen Bombs in Hiroshima, where Pauling delivered a keynote speech, "Our Choice:
Atomic Death or World Law." The appearance underlined his growing stature as a spokesperson
for the peace movement. But he was only one of many. When he led an effort to prepare
a simple summary of the conference’s concerns for publicity purposes, his relatively
mild, scientific words were criticized by more radical members of the movement, leading
to a prolonged and noisy debate. At one point, some members of the gathering walked
out. Pauling was taken aback by the rancor, but kept working, and helped forge a compromise
appeal that was eventually adopted. Again, he had proven himself a capable leader
in the effort to halt the spread and development of nuclear weapons. "We were very
well pleased with this conference," Pauling later wrote Bertrand Russell.
Click images to enlarge
Linus Pauling sitting next to a Buddhist monk, Hiroshima, Japan. August 6, 1959.
"Our Choice: Atomic Death or World Law." August 5, 1959.
"Hiroshima does not call itself the Atomic City....because it is not honorable but
rather disgraceful, both for those who dropped and those who were dropped. On the
contrary, what Hiroshima City is at least proud of is that the city...has come to
stand out from the ashes of the atomic bomb, not as a city of hostility and revenge,
but as a city of peace and reconciliation."