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Pauling and Schweitzer

Schweitzer and Pauling, courtesy of the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, Oregon State University Libraries.

In the last decades of his life, Albert Schweitzer was an eloquent advocate for nuclear abolition (click here and here to read more). Yesterday, on the 64th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, people around the world paused to reflect on the tragedy — and Hiroshima’s mayor reiterated Barack Obama’s April call for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

It’s a call that was also sounded by Schweitzer and fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Linus Pauling. Yesterday, the Pauling Blog detailed the chemist’s peace work — including a visit with Schweitzer in Gabon. An earlier post on the Pauling Blog delved into the specifics of that visit and the history behind it:

A signer of Pauling’s petition against the testing of nuclear weapons, Schweitzer was a friend and correspondent to the Paulings, and his concept of “reverence for life” became a central tenant of the Paulings own political philosophy.

Visit the full post for more, and check out the following links for more sobering coverage related to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries:

  • Modern opinions on the bombings are mixed (LA Times)
  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls for an end to the nuclear arms race (The Hindu)
  • Research team finds that nuclear ash continues to emit radiation inside the human body even after six decades (Japan Today)
  • A Walter Cronkite column, published posthumously, says:

The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the hibakusha – have continually warned, “Nuclear weapons and human beings cannot coexist.” In the end, I believe this is the most important lesson of Hiroshima. We must eliminate nuclear weapons before they eliminate us. (Sun Journal)

  • A chilling look at the U.S. press’s reporting the day after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima  (Editor & Publisher)
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