Oppenheimer’s Grandson Visits Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park for 1st Time, Meets Atomic Bomb Survivors

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Charles Oppenheimer, left, listens to Keiko Ogura speak in Hiroshima on Saturday.

HIROSHIMA — Charles Oppenheimer, a grandson of Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who led the development of the atomic bomb and is known as the “father of the atomic bomb,” visited Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima for the first time on Saturday.

Oppenheimer, 49, met atomic bomb survivor Keiko Ogura, 86, who at the park had shared her experience with the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) Summit held in the city of Hiroshima last May.

Oppenheimer asked Ogura about her experiences during the atomic bombing while they toured the G7 Hiroshima Summit Commemorative Gallery together. He also wrote a message of hope for peace and words of gratitude in her notebook that she received as a gift from U.S. President Joe Biden.

When Oppenheimer saw the city of Hiroshima, he said he thought that “It’s beautiful. I think a sign of hope that even [after] terrible things like war and bombs, it can come back to be something really beautiful.”

Concerning the increasingly tense international situation, including Russia’s prolonged aggression against Ukraine, Oppenheimer said, “I think dialogue and people talking together is the best way” when it comes to constructive steps to reduce the tension. “We have to start with any common ground that we can find together to increase the dialogue.”

Ogura said, “He told me that it was very difficult for him to identify himself as Oppenheimer. It also took me decades to tell my atomic bomb experience. I felt that we are connected to each other, even if it is only through this one point in history.”

Oppenheimer lives in San Francisco and came to Japan to give a lecture and meet with atomic bomb survivors.