The Manhattan Project

Reflections on the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Arno Roensch's Interview

Theresa Strottman: We are speaking with Arno Roensch.  We thank you for coming this morning.  To start off the interview, I was wondering if you could briefly tell me when and where you were born and something about your early education and training.

Arno Roensch: I was born in Berlin, Germany—1918. We came to this country in 1922.  I remember the boat we came on, it was called the S.S. Orbeta; it was a British vessel.  It took 21 days to cross the Atlantic.

Eleanor Roensch's Interview

Theresa Strottman: It’s Saturday March 21, 1992, and it’s approximately 10:20 in the morning.  We are speaking with Jerry Roensch.  We thank you so much for coming this morning.

Eleanor (Jerry) Roensch: My pleasure.

Strottman: To start off the interview, I wonder if you could briefly tell me when and where you were born and a little something about your early education and training.

Kay Manley's Interview

Theresa Strottman:  It’s Saturday, February 15, 1992, approximately 11:28 AM.  We’re interviewing Kay Manley.  We really appreciate your coming here today.   Briefly tell me when and where you were born and something about your education and training.

Jay Wechsler's Interview

Jay Wechsler: Well, my mother was visiting her folks in New York when she decided that it was time, and I was the first child, and I guess she was a little surprised. So I was born in New York even though we didn’t live there. And as soon as we were able we were back in New Jersey, where she and my father lived. My father was a chemist and even at a young age he was always taking me into the plant where he worked, showing me things. And I kind of had a mechanical bend or bent.

George Cowan's Interview (2006)

George Cowan: It's weighted so heavily in favor—not in favor of—but the emphasis on number one Los Alamos, and then Oak Ridge, and then Hanford, as the three secret cities or something. But the fact is the Met Lab at Chicago was enormously important. The Stagg Field reactor was historic in ’42, and its sort of dismissed. 

Donald Trauger's Interview

Donald Trauger: Yes, I’m Donald Trauger. And Trauger is T-R-A-U-G-E-R, Trauger. My mother-in-law when we first married would say auger, Trauger so she could remember it. [Laughter.]

Kelly: All right. Well, tell us how you came to Oak Ridge and how—what you did as your role in the Manhattan Project; where you were from and how you got involved.

Joe Dykstra's Interview

Joe Dykstra: My name is Joe Dykstra, that’s spelled D-Y-K-S-T-R-A. 

Cynthia Kelly: Ok, now you can talk about—

Dykstra: I finished school with a degree in chemistry in May of ’43. I was in Iowa. During that year, I’d filled out an application for a defense job with Hooker Electrochemical Company in Niagara Falls. I didn’t know what I was going to be doing, except it was defense. 

Mary Lowe Michel's Interview

Michel: My name was Mary Lowe, L-O-W-E, and I married John Michel, M-I-C-H-E-L.

Kelly: Great. Is it possible that you can look toward me? So tell me, how and when did you come to Oak Ridge?

Michel: I came in November of 1944.

Kelly: And what had—where had you come from? What brought you here?

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