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2020 Objects of Peace: Joseph Rotblat Typewriter

December 25, 20202:17 pmSeptember 22, 2023 2:24 pmLeave a Comment

The Peace Museum has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help build The Peace Museum of the Future. As part of the campaign 20 ambassadors have chosen an object from our collection to talk about its importance in the history of peace and why it is significant to them.

Peter Van Den Dungen, Trustee, has Joseph Rotblat’s Typewriter.

“Among my favourite artefacts of The Peace Museum is Joseph Rotblat’s typewriter, one of several personal belongings that were gifted to the museum after he died in 2005. He was a nuclear physicist who during World War II was part of the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos (Nevada, US), developing the world’s first atomic bombs. When it became clear that Nazi-Germany was not developing such a weapon, he was the only scientist who decided to leave, convinced that the world was better off without such a new and terrifying instrument of death and destruction.

Rotblat became a leader in the global campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons and war. He was a signatory of the important Russell-Einstein Manifesto (1955) and became a central figure in the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. In 1995, on the 50th anniversary of the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Rotblat and Pugwash shared that year’s Nobel Peace Prize. His great merits had been recognised long before when, in 1973, the University of Bradford awarded him an honorary doctorate, the first university to do so.

From the Pugwash office opposite the British Museum in central London, flowed a constant stream of his scientific publications as well as popular appeals. The typewriter is a symbol of his unwavering belief that the pen is mightier than the sword.”

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Written by Ezra Kingston

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