Atomic bomb attacks were carried out for the first time in the history of mankind 70 years ago. The dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 and Nagasaki on 9 August 1945 claimed over 200,000 lives. On the anniversary of the attacks, Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier reiterated Germany’s commitment to a world free from nuclear weapons.
Atomic bombs were dropped at the end of the Second World War
The first atomic bomb attacks in the history of mankind were carried out during the last days of the Second World War. The target of the attacks was the Japanese Empire, which had formed an alliance with Germany in the war and had continued fighting even after the surrender of the National Socialist leadership on 8 May 1945. The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused more than 200,000 deaths. Many people were killed immediately, while others died years later from the effects of nuclear radiation.
On the 70th anniversary of the attacks, Foreign Minister Steinmeier recalled one of the darkest chapters in the history of mankind.
The immeasurable suffering that the deployment of these terrible weapons of mass destruction caused is and remains a warning to us all and imposes on us a responsibility to continue doing everything we can to work for a world free from nuclear weapons.
Endeavours for a world without nuclear weapons
For many years, the German Government has been working to achieve concrete progress in nuclear disarmament, both vis‑à‑vis nuclear-weapon states and in international disarmament forums. Alongside the Non‑Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) of 1996 is the most important instrument in curbing and preventing the development of nuclear weapons.
Steinmeier regards the recent success in the talks on Iran’s nuclear programme as an encouraging sign, even though the path to a world free of nuclear weapons is filled with obstacles.
Successes such as the Vienna agreement in the nuclear dispute with Iran show us that solutions are possible even in the most difficult situations, and that the effort is entirely worth it. The German Government will continue to work with its partners to make concrete progress in the field of nuclear disarmament.