Robert Downey Jr.’s role as Lewis Strauss draws a lot of attention, because his dispute with J. Robert Oppenheimer was politicized to enter the public sphere.
Christopher Nolan’s latest phenomenal film, oppenheimerIt just aired in Indonesian theaters starting last Wednesday, along with Barbie, which was directed by Greta Gerwig.
The film will chronicle the events surrounding J. Robert Oppenheimer and the development of the first atomic bomb to be used against Japan to end World War II.
oppenheimer starring a row of A-stars, beginning with Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was assigned to lead the Manhattan Project when appointed by General Leslie Groves.
In addition to Cillian Murphy, Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock and Emily Blunt as his wife Kitty Oppenheimer. General Leslie Groves, a man who pushes for everything to succeed on the military side, is played by Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr. played Lewis Strauss.
Characters occupying strategic positions include naval officers, investors, industrialists, and philanthropists who eventually find their way to the helm of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
Who is really Lewis Strauss?
Lewis Strauss was born in Charleston, West Virginia in 1896, nearly 50 years before he gained national fame for his role in developing the first atomic bomb. Raised in Richmond, Virginia, Strauss rose to fame working for Herbert Hoover (President of the United States from 1929 to 1933) after World War I, providing assistance through the firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co.
During his 20s and 30s, the brilliant banker would amass most of his fortune, which he would later use to further causes that were important to him. One of his biggest roles came in response to the rise of Hitler and the events surrounding World War II.
As a member of the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee, as well as several other committees, Strauss worked to ease the transition from Europe to the United States for people of Jewish descent.
Especially those who fled the Third Reich and the terrible Nazi regime that came to power in the 1930s and early 1940s. He also earned the rank of Admiral in the Naval Reserve for his service from 1941 to 1945 and was also awarded the Medal of Freedom of Congress.
What was Strauss’s part in the atomic bomb?
Strauss was appointed by President Harry S. Truman as a charter member of the Atomic Energy Council and later served as its president. AEC was a countermeasure against the rise of the Cold War in the late 1940s.
According to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, he was one of the most outspoken advocates of staying ahead of the Soviet Union in atomic energy research and development and urged the need to keep American progress in the region as slow as possible.
This is an area in which he would exert a profound influence on Oppenheimer, as the overarching issue behind the secrecy of American breakthroughs in the Fat Man and Little Boy bombs and the Manhattan Project became a critical aspect of his implementation, for the better. or for worse.
Strauss was by no means a bomb-hungry warmonger, and was known for arguing for the peaceful use of atomic energy and how it might eventually become a widely used alternative to electricity.
His presence in the film reflects Strauss’s cautious optimism about the destructive power of what J. Robert Oppenheimer is creating. It wasn’t until the Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb in 1949 that Strauss began a campaign to develop thermonuclear weapons in response.
Oppenheimer was actually a staunch opponent of Strauss’s desire to harness atoms and use them as weapons.
Why did Strauss and Oppenheimer become enemies?
According to the National Museum of Nuclear History and Science, after falling out over hydrogen bomb research and development, Strauss and Oppenheimer became political enemies.
Oppenheimer did not see the need to build such a lethal weapon and considered the prospect of its destructive power inhumane, but Strauss believed that failure to do so would pose a certain threat to national security from the Soviet Union and other countries already working on manufacturing. of bombs.
Strauss even went so far as to implore then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower that he “could not do the job at AEC if Oppenheimer was somehow connected to the program.” The two would continue to debate atomic power for the next few years after the Manhattan Project and the bombing of Japan in early August 1945.
Several years after the atomic bomb was dropped, Oppenheimer’s security clearance was revoked due to suspected communist ties by the Atomic Energy Commission Staff Safety Board. The committee chaired by Strauss himself entered a series of public hearings and was controversial, leading to many considering him an unwanted figure.
Later, when his candidacy for United States Secretary of Commerce came before Congress, it failed to pass the Senate in June 1959.
Intrigued by Robert Downey Jr. Who plays this Lewis Strauss character? Look oppenheimer at the nearest cinema in your city.