The Nuclear Crisis Of Hiroshima And Hiroshima

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Let us first consider each text’s portrayal of the nuclear meltdown at Grafenrheinfeld. While both texts draw parallels between nuclear accidents and nuclear warfare, Pausewang’s emphasis on the latter highlights a Cold War era fear of intentional nuclear annihilation. Consider, for example, how the survivors of the Grafenrheinfeld disaster are publicly called “Hibakusha,” a direct reference to the survivors of the 1945 nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. This name, according to Natalie Eppelsheimer, “suggests…no difference between the dangers of civilian and military nuclear policy: surviving victims of radiation of a nuclear disaster must live with the same consequences as the surviving victims of an atomic bomb” (23 my translation). Thus, both texts emphasise how civilian use of nuclear technology carries many of the dangers of military use. But while Hage’s text is content with this association, Pausewang’s proceeds still further: “the refugees after the [Second World] War were seen just as unfavourably [as Grafenrheinfeld’s survivors],” explains one Hibakusha to another, “[e]ven though they weren’t radioactive” (92). Here, Die Wolke explicitly equates the threats of nuclear disaster and warfare, and indeed combines them into an implied threat of nuclear holocaust: after Hiroshima, warfare is as potentially deadly as a nuclear disaster, and via Hitler or Chernobyl, each has come to Germany in the last fifty years. Of course, Pausewang is not alone in drawing this
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