Length: 45 minutes (WDR, “Die Story”, 26 April 2004, 10:30 p.m.)
Back in 1991, Dr Siegwart-Horst Günther, a German epidemiologist and specialist in tropical diseases, was the first to point out the highly dangerous long-term repercussions of so-called uranium projectiles. Tonnes of this kind of ammunition were fired by the US Army during the Gulf War.
The film accompanies Dr Günther and his American colleagues during their investigations in Kosovo, Bosnia and Iraq. American troops deployed this perilous uranium ammunition indiscriminately in all these places. The documentary displays long-term consequences about which little had been known until now, effects that especially children suffer from in these war-torn regions.
Following the end of the most recent phase of the war in Iraq, experts discovered contaminated war theatres in the area around Basra whose radioactivity exceeded the Earth’s natural radioactivity by a factor of 20,000.
In the aftermath of the Gulf War in 1991, Dr Günther was a professor at the university hospital in Baghdad. He began to notice that patients were displaying symptoms of illnesses he had never seen before in the course of 40 years of work in that country. In the process he also examined many deformed infants and children, most of whom did not survive for very long. He documented these cases. He diagnosed severe disorders of kidney and liver functions, cancer and genetic damage. Once similar symptoms of illnesses began to appear in American and British veterans of the Gulf War, as well as in their children, the correlation was clear for Dr Günther and for many other scientists and researchers. They demand a comprehensive ban on this ammunition, which remains a part of standard armament for US troops.
Video (approx.. 5 mn(German))
Video (approx. 5 mn(English))
A film by Valentin Thurn
Camera: Frieder Wagner, Kamal El Kacimi, Hrabanus Pörtner
Editor: Jun Schäffer
Sound: Francisco de Zuazola
Music: Elvira Ochoa
Narration: Günter Kemper, Hans-Gerd Kilbinger, Uwe Herzog, Susanne Reuter
Mix: Gordon Rijnders
Thanks to: World Depleted Uranium Centre, Human Rights Centre Baghdad
Produced by: Ochoa-Wagner Produktion
Executive Producer: Jo Angerer © WDR