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N.d. ACNM. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. <http://acnm.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/oppenheimer-231x300.jpg>.

 

My Witness

 

J. Robert Oppenheimer

 

My Name

 

Marios B.

 

Background

 

I am a passionate scientist that studied and worked both in the United States and in Europe. I was asked to take the scientific lead on the Manhattan Project and become the director of the Los Alamos laboratories. I contributed significantly to the making of an atomic bomb and was later nicknamed the "father" of the A-bomb. After the war, I accepted the position of Chairman of the General Advisory Committee for the Atomic Energy Commission, which continued the making and development of nuclear weapons.

 

Connection to this Case

 

As the lead scientist on the Manhattan Project and director of the Los Alamos laboratory, I am the "father" of the atomic bomb. My passion for science did not allow me leave the project incomplete, so even when I had my doubts about the use of such a powerful weapon I continued working hard. Plus, it would be terrible if another country had reached to the discovery of uranium fission and used it incorrectly, it would have disastrous results.

 

Your Testimony

 

 I am the scientific leader for the top-secret project called Manhattan Project. I explain some sides of the Manhattan Project and I elaborate on the activities I was involved in the war. Finally, I talk about why I joined the project and why I chose not to quit before the end of it.

 

Key Sources

 

1) from-fdr-to-oppie-letter.pdf

 

Roosevelt, Franklin Delano. Letter to Dr. Oppenheimer. 29 June 1943. MS. The White House, Washington D.

 

 

 

Source Evaluation

 

Source #1

 

Letter from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Dr. Oppenheimer

 

Origin

 

 Franklin Roosevelt writes a letter from The White House in June 29, 1941, to scientific leader of the Manhattan Project, J. Robert Oppenheimer.

 

Purpose

 

 To congratulate Oppenheimer and his crew about their work and encourage them to continue working hard to finish this hard project, which will change the course of history and benefit the United States.

 

Value of this source in preparation of my testimony

 

It is a primary source from a former United States President, which means the reader can gain a lot of information about the era the letter is written in. We learn about the working conditions that exist in the Los Alamos Laboratory, where the bomb is being constructed. In addition, we can see the importance of this project for the United States. Finally, we can see what benefits and drawbacks such a project can have in the worldwide history.

 

Limitations of this source in preparation of my testimony

 

Since this source is written from the perspective of a United States citizen, and specifically a United States President, some of this information might be misleading because of the patriotic atmosphere that exists throughout the letter. Also, the letter focuses and emphasizes on a certain event, therefore not providing the reader with a holistic view of events.

 

2)Letter from Albert Einstein to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt about the possible construction of nuclear bombs.

 

Old Grove Rd.
Nassau Point
Peconic, Long Island

 

August 2nd, 1939

 

F.D. Roosevelt
President of the United States
White House
Washington, D.C.

 

Sir:
Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilard, which has been communicated to me in manuscript, leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future. Certain aspects of the situation which has arisen seem to call for watchfulness and, if necessary, quick action on the part of the administration. I believe therefore that it is my duty to bring to your attention the following facts and recommendations:

In the course of the last four months it has been made probable -- through the work of Joliot in France as well as Fermi and Szilard in America -- that it may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium, by which vast amounts of power and large quantities of new radium like elements would be generated. Now it appears almost certain that this could be achieved in the immediate future.

This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs, and it is conceivable -- though much less certain -- that extremely powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory. However, such bombs might very well prove to be too heavy for transportation by air.

The United States has only very poor [illegible] of uranium in moderate quantities. There is some good ore in Canada and the former Czechoslovakia, while the most important source of Uranium is Belgian Congo.

In view of this situation you may think it desirable to have some permanent contact maintained between the Administration and the group of physicists working on chain reactions in America. One possible way of achieving this might be for you to entrust with this task a person who has your confidence and who could perhaps serve in an unofficial capacity. His task might comprise the following:

a) To approach Government Departments, keep them informed of the further development, and out forward recommendations for Government action, giving particular attention to the problem of uranium ore for the United States;

b) To speed up the experimental work, which is at present being carried on within the limits of the budgets of University laboratories, by providing funds, if such funds be required, through his contacts with private persons who are willing to make a contribution for this cause, and perhaps also by obtaining the co-operation of industrial laboratories which have the necessary equipment.

I understand that Germany has actually stopped the sale of uranium from the Czechoslovakian mines, which she has taken over. That she should have taken such early action might perhaps be understood on the ground that the son of the German Under-Secretary of State, Von Weishlicker [sic], is attached to the Kaiser Wilheim Institute in Berlin where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated.

Yours very truly,

(Albert Einstein)

 

Einstein, Albert. Letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 2 Aug. 1939. MS. Peconic, Long Island, New York.

 

Source #2

 

Origin

 

 A letter written by scientist Albert Einstein to former President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The letter was written in August 2nd, 1939, in Long Island.

 

Purpose

 

To inform the United States that scientists in Europe have discovered the nuclear technology that might be devastating for human lives.

 

Value of this source in preparation of my testimony

 

It is a source that shows the necessity of the United States to join the battle of nuclear energy. If a weapon like the atomic bomb fell in the hands of the Nazis, the world would not have been the same again. So, it shows the determination and motivation that a scientist like me should have in order to protect his country from foreign danger and also shows the intentions of entering such a project.

 

Limitations of this source in preparation of my testimony

 

Einstein was born and raised in what is today Germany, which might have made him change the information in some way or another. Einstein's personal involvement might lead to mistruths. Also, some other important facts about the involvement of Germans in nuclear weapons might have been omitted, either intentionally or unintentionally, therefore might have led the United States to make the wrong decision.

 

Works Cited

 

Einstein, Albert. Letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 2 Aug. 1939. MS. Peconic, Long Island, New York.

 

N.d. ACNM. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. <http://acnm.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/oppenheimer-231x300.jpg>.

 

 

 

Roosevelt, Franklin Delano. Letter to Dr. Oppenheimer. 29 June 1943. MS. The White House, Washington D.

 

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.