• Germany's news in English

WWII bomb blast damages two houses

The Local · 18 Sep 2012, 11:04

Published: 18 Sep 2012 11:04 GMT+02:00

Construction workers in Viersen found the 250-kilo bomb on Monday at lunchtime – and experts from nearby Düsseldorf said they could not defuse the chemical detonator, but would have to blow it up.

The builders had moved the bomb quite a lot, Die Welt newspaper reported on Tuesday, allowing it to slip into a ditch. “We had to assume that the long detonator had been set off,” said Dieter Daenecke, the bomb disposal head.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from buildings within 500 metres from the site, while people were told not to be outside within a kilometre so they were not at risk of being hit by shrapnel.

The evacuation was complete by around 10:30 pm, the town council said in a statement, and the controlled explosion was carried out shortly after 11pm. By 2:30am on Tuesday, residents were allowed to return to their homes. Just one person had to spend the night in a hotel, the town said.

Many windows of nearby buildings were smashed by the explosion and two buildings backing onto the bomb site were so badly damaged they will have to be partially torn down.

An equally large but less dangerous bomb was found in Hamburg on Monday, pulled out of the water by a digger. Experts there were able to remove the detonator – after buildings in a 300-metre radius had been evacuated.

Another WWII bomb which was set off in central Munich caused significant damage and required 2,500 people to be moved from their homes for the night last month.

Story continues below…

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:46 September 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I always smile at their idea of a controlled explosion.
15:16 September 18, 2012 by freechoice
It's been more than 60 years and the Germans are still paying for the war.
15:49 September 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
If they were not prepared to pay for it they shouldn't have started it.
16:42 September 18, 2012 by Purple_Heart2004
@Berlin fuer alles, with all due respect, Germany did not start a Global WWII. Only a narrow minded fool who gets his/her education from documentaries and other indoctrination belives that rubbish. All of these statements that are still made still in 2012 that Germany "deserved" fire-bombing of its civilizations and no, do not properly count the deaths (Dresden), the rape of 3 million women, girls, and ol women, the thenic cleansing of Pomerania, East Prussia, Silisea, and Sudatenland, and of course the cultural genocide which followed the war only shows that the world today consist of mindless drones the likes of which reality TV is met for.
17:20 September 18, 2012 by Englishted

If not Germany then who?
18:10 September 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
yes Purple heart2004. We can all go on about the effect WW2 had on Germany and other countries but the question has to be where was the root cause of all this genocide, fire-bombing, etc etc that you mention. It wasn't Hitler's intention to start a global WW2 but it was his actions and those of his Political colleagues who actually did start it. What you are saying is like saying I didn't mean to start a bush fire, I only wanted to burn one bush which happened to be in the middle of lots of other bushes.
19:35 September 18, 2012 by florence
Please don't make unkind comments.

I am an English person living in Viersen and I call this place 'HOME'

I am terribly upset about the damage this bomb has caused and my heart goes out to anyone whose property was damaged in last nights blast.

We all have to put the past behind us and get on with life. We can't change History.
20:06 September 18, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
Hey Purple_Heart2004 ... it is best to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are a fool, than to open it and prove them right ...
21:49 September 18, 2012 by wood artist
@Berlin fuer alles

While we could have a long discussion about "who started the war" that's not really the point these days. Most Germans alive to day weren't around in those days, and few that remain had any responsibility for either the war itself or the election of those who guided the German government of the time. In short, today's Germans are just as much victims of these bombs as anyone.

The fortunate thing is that Germany has done a good job of training construction workers and others regarding the discovery of them, and does a pretty good job of dealing with them when they are found. Sometimes damage will still occur, but in this case no one was injured or killed....meaning "the system worked." Even the recent situation in Hamburg was handled well.

Maybe the real lesson to be learned here...beyond the mechanics of dealing with unexploded ordnance, is that war is never clean, never "short", and never a viable solution to our problems. Although I don't think Germany is particularly "needing" of a reminder, maybe for everyone else we can use that "gentle nudge" when resorting to arms starts looking too attractive.

22:07 September 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Agreed WA. The point of my retourt to Purple Heart2004 was the bomb was dropped during war time which was as a result of Hitler's foreign policy at the time. The blame remains in what happened during those times and the fact Germany is still paying for these bombs is a result of that. No point in trying to point a finger elsewhere either. There was only one cause and the result is still there for us all to see.
04:33 September 19, 2012 by EffectivelyME
There was some discussion I remember about the last bomb detonation (Munich?), and it was suggested that America pay for it, because they were the evil one's who dropped it. That like this would be hypocritical.

I just read about bomb disposal folks (EOD) in Poland who are dealing with bombs from WWII - dropped by Germany!

The reality is that America has paid a lot to re-build Germany after the war. and by the same token, Germany has paid to help Poland.
08:36 September 19, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
you are right EffectivelyME. It was the draconian penalties and restrictions put on Germany after WW1 that led to the rise of the Nazi Party and eventually WW2. However at this stage I don't think discussions of America paying for these newly discovered bombs are appropriate. Just get on with it and consider each bomb put out of commission as another small step away from the past. Of course Germany will have more WW2 bombs dropped on it. The made enemies of practically the whole world back then and invaded and bombed most of Europe.
15:18 September 19, 2012 by jg.
"Germany did not start a Global WWII"

The German government chose to break the terms of their treaties with numerous other countries, starting with the secret buildup of their military and culminating in several invasions in Europe. This placed them at war with France, Britain and others.

After Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, their Axis allies, Germany and Italy, both declared war on the USA.

Having signed a peace treaty with Stalin, Germany subsequently invaded the Soviet Union, where they killed 27 million people, including 18 million civilians.

Germans of today have no responsibility for those events but let's not re-write history.
10:37 September 20, 2012 by Berzerker
Britain and France declared war on Germany, not the other way around. It was this declaration of war that marked the beginning of WW2. Interestingly, they did not declare war on Russia, who invaded Poland from the east 16 days after Germany did. Churchill and "Bomber" Harris intentionally targeted German civilians with their air raids, which makes them just as bad as the Nazis.
16:36 September 20, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Berzerker. All what you say is true. But you fail on the fundamental point. This was all in response to German agression throughout Europe. The only mistake Britain and France made was in not declaring war far sooner. That would have resulted in avoiding WW2 and such bombs still being found throughout Europe.
Today's headlines
Second wolf found dead in southern Germany
The dead wolf found in Baden Württemberg. Photo: DPA

Second wolf found dead in southern Germany

2 minutes ago

A wolf has been found dead near a motorway in Baden-Württemberg - the second time in recent months one of the rare predators has been found dead in the southern state.

Alternative Advent calendar puts fitness first
The 24-day series kicks off on December 1st. Image: promo

Alternative Advent calendar puts fitness first

1 hour ago

Worried about staying slim this festive season? It might be time to ditch the chocolate calendar and open up YouTube - because a pair of German fitness coaches have come up with the perfect route to a "guilt-free" Christmas.

Storms and borders stem refugee flow to Germany
Refugees arrive in Germany in the snow. Photo: DPA

Storms and borders stem refugee flow to Germany

2 hours ago

The number of refugees arriving in Germany has fallen off sharply in the past few days, with police reporting half the number of new arrivals this weekend compared with last.

Bavarian conservatives want national burqa ban
A woman in a burqa in Munich's Odeonplatz. Photo: DPA

Bavarian conservatives want national burqa ban

3 hours ago

The conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), ruling party in Bavaria, want to pass a new law making it illegal for anyone to wear a burqa in Germany.

COP 21 climate conference
We owe our children a climate deal: Merkel
Environmental activists demonstrate in Frankfurt on Sunday. Photo: DPA

We owe our children a climate deal: Merkel

3 hours ago

World leaders gathered in Paris for the COP 21 climate conference must find an "ambitious, comprehensive, fair and binding" way to stop global warming, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday.

Supermarket Christmas ad is surprise downer
Screenshot of Edeka commercial.

Supermarket Christmas ad is surprise downer

6 hours ago

An ad by German supermarket chain Edeka makes an emotional plea to viewers to remember what's most important during the holidays: family. But did it make the message just a touch too dark?

Hamburg voters throw out Olympic bid plan
Anti-Olympics graffiti on the ground outside a Hamburg U-Bahn station. Photo: DPA

Hamburg voters throw out Olympic bid plan

7 hours ago

Hamburg's bid to host the 2024 Olympics fell at the first hurdle on Sunday when residents voted 'No' in a crunch referendum as the German public again torpedoed plans to host a Games.

Snow and storms usher in first day of winter
Photo: DPA

Snow and storms usher in first day of winter

7 hours ago

A cold front has reached the centre of Germany, casting a spell of cold over the north of the country, while the south remains warm.

Merkel pins refugee crisis hopes on Turkey
Chancellor Angela Merkel (l) speaks with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (m) and French President Francois Hollande (r). Photo: DPA

Merkel pins refugee crisis hopes on Turkey

9 hours ago

Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU leaders agreed a joint action plan to limit the number of refugees arriving in Europe via Turkey at a Brussels summit on Sunday.

Police intervene in Berlin refugee home brawls
Soldiers setting up beds in the hangars at the former Tempelhof airport in October. Photo: DPA

Police intervene in Berlin refugee home brawls

9 hours ago

Clashes broke out Sunday between hundreds of asylum seekers at a shelter in Berlin, in the second mass brawl to erupt over the weekend in Germany's crowded migrant accommodations.

Germany's 10 most-expensive cities
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
German ISS astronaut tells kids to follow their dreams
Sponsored Article
Why family companies need free trade and TTIP
90 percent of Germans want tougher security
Sponsored Article
'Innovative companies like Hövding benefit most from TTIP'
Are you living in Germany's most expensive city?
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Should singer accused of homophobia represent Germany at Eurovision?
70 years since the Nuremberg Trials
The German connection in the Paris attacks
Snow expected on 'first weekend of winter'
10 years of Angela Merkel in Berlin
Could soldiers soon be patrolling German streets?
Second German Paris victim was teacher and journalist
'We can't beat Isis with military means'
How will Germany help France fight Isis?
One German confirmed dead in Paris attacks
'Don't take Paris out on refugees': German defence minister
Germany's minute of silence for Paris victims
Nightclub bans refugees for harassing women
OPINION: Refugees must learn to respect German values
The ancient German community at the heart of Texas
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd