Nagasaki: Why was the second bomb dropped? (Germany, 44 min)

Directed by Klaus Scherer

It took two atomic bombs to end World War II on the Pacific theater, the first one impressed the Japanese, the second one was the decisive blow – that’s what a U.S. newsreel told the public after almost four years of relentless fighting with an enormous blood toll. And this conclusion is still common understanding. Truth, myth, or mere propaganda? More than 100.000 people have been struck dead in the blink of an eye. Where they the ruthless enemy, innocent passersby or … guinea pigs of the most lethal technology ever invented? Victims of a terrifying weapon that had never been used in warfare before and ever since – but that haunts us to this very day. The gripping documentary tries to find the answer. U.S. President Truman claimed to aim solely at military targets – an impossible task with this weapon. Even U.S. generals and admirals took the nuclear attack as pointless from a tactical point of view as reprehensible from a moral approach. Historians, Japanese and American, meet with unanimous approval. But it is not just about research and analysis of political, military and scientific implications – it is also a deeply moving encounter with the surviving eyewitnesses of the nuclear attack on the city of Nagasaki as well as with the last living member of the American bombing squad. A film that reaches far beyond questions of necessity and guilt in times of war.

English & Japanese with English subtitles

Nagasaki: Why was the second bomb dropped?

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