What Happened to Oppenheimer after ‘Oppenheimer’?

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Christopher Nolan’s film doesn’t tell the physicist’s whole story

, and then just before the blast wave of the Trinity test hits Oppenheimer’s bunker – it was only in 1965 that Oppenheimer dropped his famous bit about becoming Death, the Destroyer of Worlds. To mark 20 years since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the American network NBC News put together a documentary called. Looking drawn and old, Oppenheimer stares down at the floor on an angle. His voice seems to shake slightly.

Note that Oppenheimer is recalling what he thought, not what he said. A friend “once suggested that the quote sounded like one of Oppie’s ‘priestly exaggerations’,” according tois based. It’s a slight misappropriation of what Bhagavad Gita is about at that point too – it’s more about recognising that there is no birth or death, only reincarnation and the never-ending cycle of life. But it’s a powerful indicator of the weight which Oppenheimer carried with him toward the end of his life.

“The whole damn thing was a farce, and these people are trying to make a tragedy out of it,” Oppenheimer complained in 1964. “I had never said that I had regretted participating in a responsible way in the making of the bomb. I said that perhaps he [Kipphardt] had forgotten Guernica, Coventry, Hamburg, Dresden, Dachau, Warsaw, and Tokyo; but I had not, and that if he found it so difficult to understand, he should write a play about something else.

But that still wasn’t the end of Oppenheimer’s story. His legacy has been hotly debated in the decades since the Trinity test and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 2009, American historians and the former KGB agent Alexander Vassiliev worked together to confirm that Oppenheimer had never been a Soviet asset, though they felt his sympathies and support for the Communist Party of the USA were very real.

Source: Entertainment Trends (entertainmenttrends.net)


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