A-bomb monument built in Vienna

VIENNA (Kyodo) Some 100 people from Japan and Austria attended the unveiling Wednesday of a stone peace monument featuring a flagstone that was exposed to radiation in the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

The Vienna monument is linked with a children’s peace monument in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park that is dedicated to Sadako Sasaki, a girl exposed to atomic radiation at the age of 2 and who died at age 12 from a radiation-caused illness.

Austrian children’s writer Karl Bruckner (1906-1982) authored “Sadako will leben” (“The Day of the Bomb”) in 1961 with Sasaki as its heroine. The book has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Citizens’ groups in Hiroshima and Vienna decided to build the stone monument in the Austrian capital’s Ottakring district, Bruckner’s home area, to mark the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Japan and Austria.

The Hiroshima Municipal Government contributed the flagstone from Hiroshima’s old City Hall. It measures 180 cm high and weighs about 800 kg.

It is inscribed with the words “world peace” in Japanese and German.