August 5, 1988

Maintain Life on Earth!: Documentation of the Sixth World Congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in Cologne May 29 to June 1 1986

Author Affiliations

River City Medical Center Chicago

River City Medical Center Chicago


edited by Karl Bonhoeffer and Dieter Gerecke, 334 pp, paper $10, Neckarsulm and München, Jungjohann Verlagsgesellschaft, 1987.

JAMA. 1988;260(5):710-711. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410050130051

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Awkward translations and uneven style cannot detract from the importance of this work. It is a credible first attempt at documenting, publishing, and disseminating the proceedings of a World Congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). Readers will sense an especially poignant atmosphere for this Sixth World Congress, as it followed the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to IPPNW, the nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl, and the murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme, one of the world's foremost peace activists.

The book contains 49 transcribed addresses from physicians, academicians, administrators, and civil servants representing 14 countries. Included are official greetings from the United Nations, the Vatican, the leaders of both Germanies, and the leaders of both Superpowers. The book concludes with the 1986 decisions of the IPPNW International Council.

Two particularly stirring lectures were delivered at this Congress. One, by American psychiatrist Leon