Home page for Design and Prototype Testing for the I Am Become Death Panel in the Walkabout series. Panel 8 - Now I am become Death
Adolph Hitler believed in racial purity, the ethnic superiority of the German people, and "Lebensraum," the forceful capture of additional lands needed to grow and prosper. He was an orator. He used his great talent to organize disaffected and unemployed war veterans, and others suffering from Germany's failed economy. He secured financing by appealing to major domestic and international industrial corporations. Hitler used books, propaganda, and fear mongering at huge rallies of the faithful, to build a National Socialist political party strong enough to seize control of the German Government in order to rebuild Germany's military machine. By early 1941, Hitler's armies, using lightning warfare tactics made possible by advanced technologies, had annexed territory, invaded and occupied nations, bombed London through the summer of 1940, and had now turned his armies toward Moscow.
In early 1941, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt expressing a fear among nuclear physicists that Hitler may have already commissioned German nuclear scientists to build an atomic bomb. FDR commissioned The Manhattan Project to gather the best of the nation's scientists in remote Los Alamos, New Mexico to build a deliverable atomic bomb before the Nazis.
Early morning, July 16, 1945. A fiery, deafening blast and an expanding richly-colored mushroom-shaped cloud extends miles into the atmosphere from the New Mexico desert. This successful test of the prototype bomb had been code-named "Trinity."
Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, Project Leader, on seeing the terrible power and mind-numbing beauty of the explosion paraphrases the Hindu God Shiva from the Bhagavad-Gita: "Now I am Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds."
Hitler's dreams of a "Thousand Year Reich," had already collapsed in April, 1945. He, along with his mistress, Eva Braun, and his propaganda Minister, Dr. Josef Goebbels, hisGoebbels' wife and six children, all committed suicide in a bunker far beneath a residential street in Berlin.
Japan, the last Fascist combatant, will not surrender. In order to avoid a half million more Allied dead and wounded, Harry S. Truman - now President following the death of FDR in April - authorizes the use of the last two of the three bombs built at Los Alamos to destroy the two Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nearly 200,000 Japanese died of blast effects and radiation as a result of the two atomic blasts.
On August 15, the Emperor of Japan, Hirohito, his army and navy in ruins, millions of Japan's soldiers and civilians crippled and dead, and many of his major cities nothing more than piles of burned out rubble - two of them highly radioactive - took to the radio to announce Japan's total surrender.