On 6.8.1945, the first atom bomb was dropped on the Japanese industrial city of Hiroshima. This picture shows the centre of Hiroshima still in ruins a year after the atom bomb fell.
© picture-alliance / dpa
On 6 August 1945, an atom bomb was used in a war
for the first time in the history of humankind. The Japanese city of Hiroshima was the target of the first atom bomb, which was dropped by the Americans. Three days later, an atom bomb was used for a second time, this time hitting the city of Nagasaki. The consequences were unimaginably terrible. More than 120,000 people were burnt alive. Anybody who survived the catastrophe was often horribly disfigured by the searing heat. In the five years that followed, more than 200,000 people died as a result of the radiation, which had destroyed their health. We will never know exactly how many people paid for this first use of a nuclear weapon with their lives or their health.
By using the atom bomb, the Americans brought about Japanís surrender at the end of the Second World War
. The Japanese war of conquest in Asia, in which more than 10 million people were killed between 1931 and 1945, was brought to an end. At the same time, the USA demonstrated that it has terrible weapons that it is ready to use if it considers it necessary. Even today, there is discussion about what other means the Americans would have had to end this war.
The people who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, those whose health was destroyed and those whose families were wiped out, paid a high price. August 6 is a day of remembrance dedicated to them.