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Sadako's Paper Crane

The Greatest „Treasure“ of the Peace Castle is a Tiny Paper Bird

Sadakos Kranich

Sadako was two and a half years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on the 6th August 1945 over Hiroshima, her home town. 140.000 inhabitants were dead at once or died in the first two days, others seem to have survived the first nuclear attack in the history of mankind.

Sadako showed no signs of radiation in the following years. She was a cheerful girl, liked to go to school and was a good athlete. At the age of 12, she was suddenly hospitalized and diagnosed with leukaemia.

A friend told her the story of the paper cranes. Whoever folds 1.000 cranes will get a wish granted. Sadako got to work and folded the little cranes. However, when the origami birds were finished, she didn't get better, in fact, her health was worse than ever. She thought that she had to make more effort and, as a result, she folded cranes that were very little and elaborate.

However, on the verge of her 13th birthday. Sadako died because of leukaemia. Her only inheritances are a handful paper cranes which she folded with the last of her strength.

Sadako's family decided to give the last five cranes to institutions of the five continents for them to be ambassadors of peace. In September 2009, Sadakos younger brother came to the Peace Center Schlaining and presented the crane for the continent of Europe to representatives of the Center.

Even though the crane is only a few millimeters small, it is a symbol for the biggest dream of humankind. We keep it in our Peace Library – as a stimulation for our work, as a memorial of the brutal insanity of war and for the peaceful understanding amongst the peoples of our earth.

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