Residents of Augsburg, Germany woke up to a Christmas surprise: a large WWII era bomb was discovered in the heart of the city. Almost 32,000 homes, approximately 54,000 people have been evacuated from the hazard zone.

German WWII bomb found in London in 2015 (illustration)

German WWII bomb found in London in 2015 (illustration) Photo Credit: Rupert Frere, RLC/ Channel 2 News

Around 54,000 people have been evacuated this Christmas morning (Sunday) from their homes in Augsburg, Germany because of a World War II era bomb found in the middle of the city. All roads encircling the bomb have been closed since the morning to allow sappers to attempt to defuse the 1.8 ton British bomb.

Local police were unable to give the residents an estimate as to how long they will have to spend their Christmas morning outside their homes. Local schools have been opened as safe shelters for the evacuees.

American and British bombs are commonly found throughout various German cities, yet today called for Germany’s largest evacuation since the war itself. In 2011 a bomb was found in the city of Koblenz which called for the evacuation of 45,000 people. Even in other European countries, remanents of the war are found. In 2015, a German half ton bomb was foudn in London, forcing around 1,500 people to be evacuated while it was being defused. 

The city of Augsburg faced heavy bombings by American and British forces during the Second World War. The presence of a large military base as well a camp that was part of the Dachau Concentration Camp within the city’s vicinity led to a heavy concentration of the Allie’s bombings.