Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Germans, the War - and Bombs

60 Years Later, Buried Bombs Still Frighten Germans, and Kill Some. By MARK LANDLER, The New York Times

More than six decades after the end of World War II, Germans still routinely come across unexploded bombs beneath farmers’ fields or city streets. Lately, there has been a skein of such dangerous discoveries, one with deadly consequences.

On Monday morning, a highway worker was killed when his cutting machine struck a World War II bomb beneath a busy autobahn southeast of Frankfurt. The explosion ripped apart the vehicle and damaged several passing cars, wounding four other workers and a motorist.

(...)


It's not for the first time, that I got the impression that Mr. Landler is exaggerating things and is actually drawing a picture of Germany which strucks me as... inaccurate. He has a point in mentioning three more WWII-bomb incidents within the last week, but still: war time bombs are not a big deal in Germany - and we do not come across unexploded bombs "routinely".

3 comments:

Joerg said...

A reader has sent me this article as well. I think the article made quite an impression. Many non-Germans might not be aware of these world war two bombs that are found constantly.

I agree with you, "war time bombs are not a big deal in Germany", but outside of Germany they are, especially in countries who have fought all their recent wars abroad rather than on their own territory. (I am ignoring Pearl Harbor and 9/11 here)

I think the article was good, becaus e it reminds everyone that a war is not over, when the armies leave. Perhaps these WWII bombs are anohter reason why Germans are more reluctant to go to war than Americans, who do not ever find such bombs in their cities when they do construction work.

Why do you object to the word "routinely"? Because the bombs are not found during every construction work? While "routinely" might not be the right word, I think that these bombs are found very often.

We are quite used to these things in Berlin. Construction workers come across such bombs very often: The Surrounding areas get evacuated and the bomb squads diffuse the bombs. There are hardly ever any casualties. Chandler wrote that apart from Mondays deaths, the last deaths were in 1994.

People in other former war zones are not as lucky as Germans. They suffer from the remains of war much more:
I will write about this Amnesty call later:

A call to abolish cluster bombs | csmonitor.com
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1023/p09s01-coop.html

I have been googling about the campaign to ban landmindes and cluster bombs and stuff, but I am confused about the current situation and the whole debate about it.

Some treaties have been passed outlawing some stuff, but not others. Why not?
Which countries have been supporting what?

http://www.landmine.de has a petition for the Bundestag. The Bundestag voted against it recently.
I have not quite understood the whole debate and the current global (legal) situation yet.

Don said...

"I have been googling about the campaign to ban landmindes and cluster bombs and stuff"

The villain (as usual) is the good 'ole Red, White, n' Blue.

The problem (as usual) is the US propensity to try to avoid fair fights - straight up between million-man armies owned by such paradigms of the enlightened as Kim Il Jung, Saddamn Hussein, and the Iranian clerical regimes.

To this unworthy end the US has indulged in the immoral and fascist expedient of placing fields of landmines along the Korean DMZ (for example).

Enlightened activists *everywhere* (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the US itself) righteously seek to force the US to forego the use of advanced weaponry and fight man to man - 30,000 against 1 million across the Korean DMZ and other such places.

I agree - it's only right. And if 1 million pissed-off ideological North Koreans stamp the 30,000 American soldiers into puree on their way to getting their share of the pie (in Seoul) - well it's only their just commuppance for 2 centurries of 'war crimes'. QED.

joe said...

Why are there bomds being found in Germany?