The 1.8-tonne bomb was found outside Hanover, Lower Saxony, on Monday at a building site in the town of Seelze.
Thousands of homes, three old people’s homes and a chemical factory had to be evacuated. Those who had to leave their homes were allowed to return on Tuesday morning after the bomb had been defused.
The defusing was meant to take two to three hours, but was delayed as some people refused to leave their homes.
People in the area were taken to emergency shelters and nearby schools.
Around 570 emergency services personnel took part in the evacuation operation.
PHOTO GALLERY: Bomb forces thousands from homes