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
Rotblat: I helped sponsor a mobile exhibition that was carried in a train of two carriages. We called it the Atom Train. The exhibition included a demonstration device that showed the actual detonation mechanism of an atomic bomb. This was our first attempt to convey information and educate the public. This train exhibition traveled through the British Isles and then throughout Europe, and even went as far as the Middle East. We also sold over 53,000 copies of our Atom Train pamphlet. Ikeda: What an amazing venture!
I met my lifelong mentor, Josei Toda, right after the war when I was nineteen years of age. I think this was the age at which you met your teacher, Dr. Wertenstein. During the war, Mr. Toda suffered persecution and was held in prison. This fact was extremely significant for me. This was because I lost all faith in those irresponsible adults and intellectuals who, while following the military authorities during the war, suddenly changed their attitude when the war ended, and became critical of militarism and began advocating peace.
Rotblat: Hiroshima and Nagasaki stand as the symbols for why humankind must abolish nuclear weapons. They present an eternal symbol to the world. Ikeda: The world is surprisingly uninformed about the horrific events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As a result, you often hear people declare without hesitation that dropping the atomic bomb helped save many lives or that nuclear weapons help protect the peace. However, the tragic reality is far beyond what any of these people could possibly imagine. Therefore, I believe it is important for people to understand exactly what occurred at the place where the atomic bomb was dropped.