Image from dpa, found here in this photo series.
There was a little excitement in downtown Munich last night. Construction workers found an unexploded American bomb from the Second World War beneath the ground in Schwabing, a tony Munich neighborhood. Now, bombs are found in German (and Austrian) cities on a pretty regular basis, even today, but this one presented a little problem:
Overnight, 2,500 residents were evacuated from the area closest to the bomb, with others living further away being told to stay in their homes.
Experts decided it was not possible to make the device safe because of its unusual fuse, which operated by means of a chemical reaction rather than the mechanical device that many Allied World War II bombs used.
The Local goes into detail:
Thousands of people had already been evacuated from their homes, and the city halted bus and tram services after it became clear experts could not simply defuse the bomb.
Munich bomb disposal officer Diethard Posorski and his colleagues had first assumed it was a ‘normal’ bomb – which although dangerous, can be handled with care.
However on Monday it became clear that the 250-kilo bomb was not the normal kind.
“That is a chemical delayed-action detonator. I am not defusing that, I’m not suicidal,” he told the Münchner Merkur newspaper on Monday night.
Of course he said this in German and used the splendid German word “lebensmüde”, which literally translates to “tired of living”. I first heard this word applied to drivers making stupid mistakes on the highway, or bicyclists riding a bit too far in from the edge of the road.
An accident waiting to happen, an American might say. “Lebensmüde”, says his German counterpart.