“We knew the world would not be the same. Few people laughed. Few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”.  I suppose we all thought that one way or another.”  — J. Robert Oppenheimer (1965)

“I have been asked whether in the years to come it will be possible to kill 40 million American people in the 20 largest American towns by the use of atomic bombs in a single night. I’m afraid that the answer to that question is yes. I have been asked whether there are specific countermeasures against the atomic bomb. I know that the bombs that we make in Los Alamos cannot be exploded by such countermeasures. I do not think there is any foundation for the hope that such countermeasures will be found. I have been asked whether there is hope for the nation’s security in keeping secrets some of the knowledge in which has gone into the making of the bombs. I’m afraid there is no such hope. I think the only hope for our future safety must lie in a collaboration based on confidence and good faith with the other peoples in the world.”  — J. Robert Oppenheimer, The Capitol Building in Washington, DC, October 26, 1945

J. Robert Oppenheimer speaking at UCLA 5/14/1964

“I will be reading you short passages from things that he [Bohr] wrote and you will hear his own words. But I think it is best if I rather boldly tell you what points he had in mind at the beginning, and for a long time. I run the risk of oversimplifying by so doing. But I do so because it is easy, as history as well shown, for even very wise men, not to know what Bohr was talking about. This whole development fell on him as a great astonishment, like the atomic nucleus, many years earlier, and everything came in a great jumble to his mind. First of all he was clear that this was going to be an enormous change in the situation of the world, and in the tolerability of world war. The word Menace, the word threat occur over and over again in what he wrote. When he came to Los Alamos his first serious question was “is it really big enough”. Maybe it wasn’t but it finally got to be. The second point was that he knew enough of the Soviet situation to be quite sure that the wartime alliance would not endure the peace, as things then stood. He spoke a great deal of different economic and social systems and different traditions. I think he was not thinking of India or Africa or China but of Russia, of the Communist world. He therefore anticipated an unheard-of arms race. Unheard of before then, though of course not now, because we’ve had it, and are having it, for the great weapons. He came to know something about the possibility of vast thermonuclear amplification and even mentioned it discreetly to Roosevelt and Anderson and Churchill. We didn’t know much about it but we knew it was not a hopeless prospect. He expected perhaps more, rather more than has in fact occurred, than what looked such a formidable undertaking in 1943 would look much less formidable in 53 in 63 in the way of getting materials and in the way of assembling them. And he thought that it was important and necessary to start early to try to prevent the arms race. He was quite clear that one could not have an effective control in this field which was picturesquely called atomic energy which would permit some beautiful applications for instance to technical and scientific things or to the generation of power. That one could not have a free scientific spirit and have an active open healthy world without a very open world, indeed. He made this quite absolute. – 32:07

[it was] very important to try to put the enterprise as a common problem of cooperation for the Russians the English the Americans the United Nations as they were then called and a sport called them and to be quite prepared to up offer with proper safeguards and with an open world full cooperation in scientific progress and if it were sensible in industrial exploitation…and the need for common responsibilities and the deep need for an open world… 

And what he had written, I will read you the last quotation that I will only what he wrote it’s not now addressed to the heads of government but to people and at large to you and to me: “The efforts of all supporters of international cooperation, individuals as well as Nations, will be needed to create in all countries an opinion to voice with ever-increasing clarity and strength the demand for an open world.” I cannot tell, I’m not sure that anyone can, whether early, timely thoughtful, action along the lines suggested by Bohr would have changed the course of history. There is nothing that I know of Stalin’s behavior, or his beliefs, that gives one, gives me any shred of hope, on that score. But Bohr understood this too, I think, and he understood that this action would create a deep change in the situation and he believed that with change situations also changed ways of thinking are called for and do, are brought forth. I think myself that if we had acted wisely and thoughtfully in accordance with what he said we might have been freed of our rather blasphemous sense of omnipotence, and our delusions about the effectiveness of secrecy, and that we might have turned our society toward a healthier vision of a future worth living for, an increased dedication to knowledge, and to truth. With the development of the arms race and its intensification, the bitterness of the Cold War, and the multi Megaton warheads and rockets, Bohr turned more and more to what he knew he could do: International cooperation in science, good communication, understanding, friendliness, reasonable institutions, great goodwill. His own Institute in Copenhagen the little Scandinavian center called Nordita, which is housed in the same building where early examples. Bohr spoke that the first Athens for Peace Conference which though a modest thing was a very important beginning in the erosion of barriers to communication, some certain barriers to communication, Bohr took pride in the fact that the only Danish contribution to the second Atoms for Peace Conference was a joint paper by an American and Russian. He played a most helpful part not only in establishing the great nuclear laboratory for high energy physics, CERN near Geneva, but in keeping CERN free of the provincialism of the six, and of your atom, and free of the military orientation and preoccupation of NATO.  –  1:08:11 

It was in September of 1945, that Colonel Stimson left Washington for good. He was not young and he was not well. On that day he was to have a cabinet meeting where he would advocate, belatedly, but very eloquently, an open approach to the Russians, an open and friendly approach, and an open approach on the possibilities of collaborating on atomic control. Later in the day general Marshall was planning to have every general officer in Washington out on the runway to salute and say goodbye to their chief. For all this, Colonel Stinson had to have his hair trimmed and he asked me to sit with him when he was in the barber’s chair. When it was time to go he said “now it is in your hands”. Bohr never said anything like that to any of us. He never needed to. – 1:13:26