|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."