Warning for Peace: the Hiroshima cover

06.04.2019 | On August 6, 1945, at 8:16 a.m. local time, the first atomic bomb used in a war detonated at an altitude of about 600 m above the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

The blast wave triggered by the explosion and its thermal radiation destroyed buildings, installations and trees within a radius of 10 km. 80 percent of the city center was destroyed. 80,000 people died immediately, 100,000 were injured. The population still suffers from the late effects of radioactive radiation. More than 200,000 people have died in the meantime.

On the intermediate level, which leads to Hall 1 A to the stamp fair and to the exhibitions, the Association of Philatelists in NRW presents an unusual piece: the Hiroshima cover. The registered cover was found in the rubble of a bank near the city’s railway station, 2 km from the ground zero of the detonation, while cleaning up the rubble. It shows hardly any external damage, but is radioactively contaminated. An official measurement showed a dose rate of 0.05 mr/h. But the visitors need not be afraid: A special lead cuff and bulletproof glass protect against radioactive radiation, but at the same time allow a look at the unique testimony of the time.

The letter reached Germany via the United States and was acquired by the Association of German Philatelists (BDPh) after the death of its owner as an important contemporary witness. It is shown here as a reminder for peace and against the unlimited use of war weapons. This presentation thus pursues deeply humanitarian goals.

image description: