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Citizen Kurchatov: Stalin's Bomb Maker



In February of 1960 Kurchatov went to a performance of Mozart's Requiem. He had always enjoyed Mozart, and talked about the concert with Marina Khariton when he visited the Kharitons three days later. After chatting and joking with the Kharitons, he asked Yuli to take a walk with him and "talk shop."

Kurchatov monumentKurchatov wiped snow off two spaces on a park bench for them to sit and talk. While he described his recent projects, Khariton sensed something was wrong because Kurchatov hadn't said anything for a while. When he looked into Kurchatov's face he saw no life. He tried to rouse him, but Kurchatov was dead. He died from a blood clot in his brain.

Kurchatov's body was buried in a place of honor, the wall of the Kremlin. Memorials were erected in front of the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow and in the town of Kurchatov, formerly known as Semipalatinsk-16.


In March the Soviet Union suspends atmospheric testing.

In October, the United States and Britain also suspend atmospheric testing.

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