Grandson of Otto Hahn visits Hiroshima, tours Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Oct. 3, 2013

by Aya Kano, Staff Writer

On September 30, Dietrich Hahn, 67, the grandson of Otto Hahn (1879-1968), the German chemist who discovered nuclear fission reaction, which led to the development of nuclear weapons, visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park for the first time.

Mr. Hahn offered flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims and toured Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, guided by Kenichi Harada, 68, a peace volunteer. He looked intently at panels which describe the history of the A-bomb’s development, and recalled that his grandfather once said that the hardest time in his life was when he learned about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mr. Hahn also shared his impressions of the museum, saying that it was a moving experience and that he hoped children from around the world would visit the museum.

Otto Hahn received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1944 for his discovery of nuclear fission. After World War II, he continually spoke out about the horrors of nuclear weapons through his peace activities. Dietrich Hahn, carrying on his grandfather’s spirit, established the Otto Hahn Peace Medal in Gold in Germany in 1988. Former Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba received the award this year, which led to Mr. Hahn’s decision to visit the A-bombed city.

(Originally published on October 1, 2013)