Sunday 15 September 2013

The bomb under the floorboards

Just arrived back home after an epic road-trip across south-eastern Europe that I'll write more about in the next few weeks. First I'd like to relate something that happened a few months ago and still baffles me.

Living in the city of Wroclaw, you get used to occasional interruptions and evacuations caused by the many unexploded shells and bombs left in the city after the 80-day-long battle between the Red Army (and their Polish allies) and the city's German defenders. However, something of a somewhat different nature happened whilst the building I'm currently living in was being renovated back in May.

The worker found a package with German markings under the floorboards. Since the building I'm living in was built in the immediate pre-war era, whilst the city was still called "Breslau" and a long-standing part of the German Reich, and still has German signs over the light-switches, they thought little of it and set it aside. A neighbour, seeing the package, identified it as explosives of some kind and called the local bomb-squad who then took it away for disposal - but only after their husband nearly set fire to it in an effort to find out what it was!

I wasn't in at the time, so I never got to see it, but I'm left with a bunch of questions I have been unable to answer:
  • The area in which I live is to the north of Wroclaw and wasn't the scene of any great fighting - the main assault came from the south. I seems unlikely that the explosives were put there during the fighting - so how did they get there?
  • Who put the explosives there? Was it Germans preparing resistance to Soviet occupation? Or Poles preparing something later? Both seem unlikely - the 'Werwulf' resistance was a total flop, and Polish guerilla warfare wasn't really fought in this area since it wasn't part of pre-war Poland.
  • Why didn't the authorities investigate more? I cannot think that if the same thing happened in the UK that there would not be an investigation due to concerns about terrorist activities.
Anyone out there have any ideas?

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