Today’s news feed (here) was filled with stories of a 550-pound unexploded bomb discovered in Dresden that was successfully defused today. Approximately 9,000 city residents living near the site of the bomb were evacuated from their homes for two days while the defusing operation was underway, and flights to and from the Dresden airport were also suspended.
Dresden was the site of one of the worst Allied bombing raids of the war, on February 13-15, 1945, when the resulting firestorm killed approximately 25,000 people, and left thousands more homeless. The raid was then, and remains today, controversial, as a terror bombing of a non-military target. As some have pointed out, the German bombing of Rotterdam (May 14, 1940), which razed most of the city, all while negotiations for capitulation were already underway, and the subsequent “Baedeker Raids” of 1942, where the Germans vowed to “bomb every cultural site in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide” effectively swung British public opinion in favor of indiscriminate bombing of German cities, culminating in raids such as that on Dresden.
The news article further points out that the northern German city of Kiel is also in the process of neutralizing an unexploded bomb–an operation that involves the evacuation of 4,300 residents, and that only last month 10,000 people were evacuated in central Berlin while a successful bomb defusing operation was underway.
Who knew that my recent blog about a British bomb defusing squad would prove so timely. Perhaps the ghosts of the Holy Trinity are looking down on the current efforts to make safe instruments–originally designed to kill over seven decades ago–and wishing their former enemies, and now current allies, continued success.