United Nations Forum for the Transition

SI  VIS  PACEM  PARA  PACEM!   If you want peace, prepare for peace! 平和を望むなら平和に備えよ









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German-American Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Declaration

Zum Gedenken an den Holocaust von Hiroshima und Nagasaki.

Commemorating Ground Zero in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We would like Germany and the United States to come up with a declaration on disarmament and abolishing war. There is an obvious link that has so far not been addressed, i.e. between the 20th century German ideology of "total war" and the nuclear holocaust that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Total war in the modern age of technology and information has a different quality from what it meant for example at the time of Genghis Khan. An interesting question is how the ideology of "total war" affected the Japanese militarists who had to take this new trend that had started with WWI into account. This kind of ideology may well have persuaded the Japanese toward the end of the Second World War that it was necessary to continue fighting even when the war was already lost. The genocidal concept of "unconditional surrender" as part of the total-war ideology further contributed to the dilemma.

I would further argue that the bomb was originally intended to not only defeat Germany but that at the back of the American leadership's mind was the idea that war should be abolished altogether, and that the bomb could be a means toward this end. Thus U.S. President Harry Truman at the beginning of September 1945 declared in his V-J (Victory over Japan) Day broadcast to the armed forces: "War must be abolished from the earth if the earth, as we know it, is to remain."

However, while the goal of abolishing war would have been accomplished if the bombs had been released over Germany, the same can not be said for the dropping of the bombs on Japan. Perhaps this could lend strength to the view that the Japanese subsequently brought the issue to the fore by abolishing war in their Constitution.

The rationale here is that (1) already at the Hague Peace Conferences 1899 and 1907 the Great Powers (without Germany) voted in favor of a system of binding law instead of war, (2) consequently the First World War was fought in the belief (by many) that this was the "war to end (i.e. abolish) war"; (3) the "eternal Pact of Paris", the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, explicitly renounced war "as an instrument of national policy"; consequently many believed that legally the actions against Germany and the Axis powers were not war. Quincy Wright wrote that "under the Pact these hostilities could not be characterized as war in the sense formally understood by international law. Rather a condition existed during which violence by certain governments in violation of international obligations was being opposed by other governments acting in defense, or acting to give assistance to those defending themselves, or acting as a police force to suppress assaults on basic principles of international order." (4) The UN Charter aims at a System of Collective Security that would allow all nations to abandon military threat and use of force.

Please see the correspondence in German and English, concerning the initiative for a German-American Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Declaration