Setsuko Thurlow – Nobel Peace Prize

for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons

Setsuko Thurlow is a Japanese–Canadian nuclear disarmament campaigner who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. She was approximately 1.8 kilometres from the hypocentre of the blast. Eight of her family members and 351 of her schoolmates and teachers died in the attack.

This event titled “A Voice from Hiroshima” with Ms Setsuko Thurlow was held at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS University of London on 21 March 2017. It was chaired by Dr Griseldis Kirsch.

As a 13-year old schoolgirl, Setsuko Thurlow found herself pressed into action by the Japanese Imperial Army, decoding secret messages. Her first official day of work, with about 30 other high school students, was set for August 6th 1945. Just as Major Yanai gave the girls their marching orders, Sestsuko remembers a blueish white flash and a force of wind that lifted her body skyward. She would later regain consciousness in close proximity to ground zero of the world’s first atomic blast used in war. Her beloved city of Hiroshima was destroyed by a single ‘bomb’ nicknamed Little Boy. A survivor of one of the most pivotal events in modern history, Setsuko has displayed enormous courage and leadership throughout her long life, sharing her atomic bomb experiences in order to inform people about the real consequences of nuclear war.

 

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