Vault Containing $70 Billion In German Gold To Be Evacuated As Frankfurt Defuses Massive Bomb

Tyler Durden's picture

Approximately 60,000 residents of Germany’s financial capital, Frankfurt, will be ordered to evacuate their homes on Sunday as the city's emergency service staff will attempt to defuse a massive World War Two bomb, discovered recently at a local building site. The 1.4-tonne HC 4000 bomb dropped by the British air force during World War Two was uncovered on a building site on Wismarer Strasse in Frankfurt’s leafy Westend where many wealthy bankers live.

“We have never defused a bomb of this size,” bomb disposal expert Rene Bennert told Reuters, adding that it had been damaged on impact when it was dropped between 1943 and 1945.

Bomb disposal experts who examined it said the massive evacuation could wait until the weekend. “We are still working on the modalities of the evacuation plan,” a spokeswoman for Frankfurt police said on Wednesday.

As a result, ahead of Sunday's planned evacuation, more than 100 hospital patients, including premature infants and those in intensive care, were evacuated from two Frankfurt hospitals on Saturday, city councillor Markus Frank told Reuters television. 

Every year more than 2,000 tonnes of live bombs and munitions are still found in Germany, even under buildings. In July, a kindergarten was evacuated after teachers discovered an unexploded World War Two bomb on a shelf among some toys. During World War II, Germany was pummeled by 1.5 million tonnes of bombs from British and American warplanes that killed 600,000 people. German officials estimate 15% of the bombs failed to explode, some burrowing six meters (yards) deep.

And while local residents have been eager to comply with the unprecedented evacuation, the biggest since the war, Frankfurt fire and police chiefs said they would use force and incarceration if necessary to clear the area of residents, warning that an uncontrolled explosion of the bomb would be big enough to flatten a city block.

Frankfurt’s residents have to clear the area by 8 a.m. on Sunday and police will ring every doorbell and use helicopters with heat-sensing cameras to make sure nobody is left behind before they start diffusing the bomb.

Where this otherwise trivial evacuation takes on a more sinister, "Die Harder" spin, is when looking at what other structures are impacted by the 1.5 km evacuation radius: these include Frankfurt’s Goethe University, police headquarters, two hospitals, transport systems... oh and the Bundesbank headquarters, which as a reminder ten days ago completed the accelerated repatriation of 674 tonnes of gold - some three years ahead of schedule - from New York and Paris to its vault deep underground.

According to Reuters, the Bundesbank vault which stores 1,710 tonnes of gold deep underground - approximately half the country’s reserves - is located less than 600 meters from the location of the bomb. Well, that particular vault which now holds $70 billion in gold (including $28 billion in freshly repatriated physical) and everything around it, is about to be evacuated. All that's missing are several dozen dump trucks to take advantage of the massive evacuation that will leave thousands of gold bars without security for 1.5 kilometers in any direction.

While airspace for 1.5 kilometers around the bomb site will be closed, we doubt that will prove a major hurdle to anyone eager to take a stab at a real-life reincarnation of the second Die Hard movie.

Still, to prevent anyone from getting any ideas of following in Simon Gruber's footsteps, a spokesman for the German Bundesbank said, that "the usual security arrangements" would remain in place while experts worked to disarm the bomb.

The fate of half of Germany's gold aside, bomb disposal experts said they will make use of a “Rocket Wrench” to try and unscrew the fuses attached to the HC 4,000 bomb. If that fails, a water jet will be used to cut the fuses away from the bomb, Bennert told Reuters. The most dangerous part of the exercise will be applying the wrench, Bennert said.

Roads and transport systems, including the underground, will be closed during the work and for at least two hours after the bomb is defused, to allow patients to be transported back to hospitals without traffic. It is not unusual for unexploded bombs from World War Two air raids to be found in German cities, but rarely are they so large and in such a sensitive position.

Meanwhile, Frankfurters can spend the day at shelters set up at the trade fair and the Jahrhunderthalle convention center. Most museums are offering residents free entry on Sunday, and a few of them will open their doors earlier in the morning than usual.

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BaBaBouy's picture

Evacuate..! Tungsten Shrapnel...

y3maxx's picture

Just how gullible to they think people are?

3....2.....1......$70 billion gold disappears

Looney's picture


I would place all that gold atop of the big-ass bomb and let it go BOOM!

Wouldn’t it be fun to watch the aborigines digging through the rubble in search of GOLD?  ;-)


RAT005's picture

Why the fuss over a barbarous relic?

Pure Evil's picture

Were the infants all named Mohammad or some variant?

wee-weed up's picture



Yep... this sounds mighty suspicious.

Is someone planning some kind of "ol' switcheroo" here?

NoWayJose's picture

Something is fishy. A good earth berm circle would contain most of the Blast and some Kevlar blankets over top would stop loose debris.

Manthong's picture


Oh, F me.

1.    The Brits were not very good bombers in WW2… they tried to do with massivity what they could not do with competence (US, too).

2.    The gold is in no danger, it will still be there (maybe in bits) after a big boom and the good news is that it would not be radioactive. …….. I wonder what the grams/ton yield would be in the excavation after the blast.

Interesting story nonetheless.

..and   I would not want to be the bomb disposal tech down there.


T Shirt imprint.....

 “I am a bomb disposal technician… if you see me running, try to keep up”


MANvsMACHINE's picture

This is why Bitcoin is better than gold. You can't blow cryptocurrencies up.


Big Creek Rising's picture

Don't be so sure- Bernake might find a way

AGuy's picture

"This is why Bitcoin is better than gold. You can't blow cryptocurrencies up."

Just delete BTC and its GONE!

Dannimal8u's picture

Right. Nothing that a EMP can't fix

wee-weed up's picture



Yep, it's pretty easy with cryptocurrencies...

Just shut them off from the Internet.

Most gov'ts are already planning this as they threaten their fiats.

Poof! It's gone...

BTFDemocracy's picture

Bitcoin does not need to be evacuated. Just sayin'

indio007's picture

That won't work. It's peer to peer.It can use broadcast.

You'd have to shut off the internet completely.

carlnpa's picture

You CAN turn the lights off.

2000's picture

What would make you think that? I mean, don't they always inform the media when large sums of money are going to be at their most vulnerable?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hold a press conference to let people know that I plan to leave my house unlocked for the next 3 hours.

BeansMcGreens's picture

Watch out for a flying Sandringham hat. 

MozartIII's picture

Already happened! Poof goes the Gold!!!

Haus-Targaryen's picture

A 1.5 km radius is ridiculous.  This thing could flatten a city block, given the buildings around this location, it would be better if they just set the thing off and saved the demo costs, that being said -- this is just dumb CYA nonsense. 


johansen's picture

its 1.4 tons.

youtube watch?v=LptXaQ4Wkjw


not that big a deal.

847328_3527's picture

What worries me is that guy walking around in the fourth photo carrying that book, "Defusing Bombs for Dummies."

Ms No's picture

I am surprised they didn't clear out the whole county to protect the bankers from being looted. 

sleigher's picture

"on a building site on Wismarer Strasse in Frankfurt’s leafy Westend where many wealthy bankers live."


 "it would be better if they just set the thing off"


Yes, yes it would...

Big Creek Rising's picture

Try using some of that cheap unskilled labor you've let over run your country there, Angela

Ms No's picture

In AZ you could pay a few Mexicans to plant a dummy bomb to later be "discovered" at a construction site for about 500 bucks.  They might charge you a rental fee if its too big and heavy.  If not they would throw it in their truck, put a tarp on it, dirty it up and "discover" it for you by morning.  This would probably be more expensive in Europe.

silverer's picture

Barbarous: of or occurring in a barber shop.

StackShinyStuff's picture

Pretty sure it was the third movie not the second.

HowdyDoody's picture

"The 1.4-tonne HC 4000 bomb ... was uncovered on a building site on Wismarer Strasse in Frankfurt’s leafy Westend where many wealthy bankers live."

Darn. If there ever was a case for 'shelter in place', this is it.


Funn3r's picture

Sometimes shit happens. Usually in a tragic boating accident but this time in a tragic WW2 bombing accident. Yes folks all that gold got blown up, oh well move along with our lives and try to forget about it, nothing to see here move along. Those trucks? No you didn't see any trucks.

subversion's picture

ooops it detonated and all that gold vanished

political_proxy's picture


Are you suggesting they fucked up and put the real gold there?!

StychoKiller's picture

Hmm, so Gold is gonna bleed or get dismembered if this bomb explodes?  WTF?

Latitude25's picture

Useless barbaric relic / s

krispkritter's picture

Thar she blows!  Do we really care about the banksters nearby? Nein!  As for the gold, is it really?  An old video I tossed together one morning when the announcement of the repatriation of gold hit the wires. (disclaimer, I was reeaally hung over)

any_mouse's picture

Good video. Still chuckling.

The Alarmist's picture

We can put that gold in a really secure vault, and... it's gone!

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"During World War II, Germany was pummeled by 1.5 million tonnes of bombs from British and American warplanes that killed 600,000 people."

Huh. That sure is a shit-ton of civilian deaths. But, they weren't (((deaths))) so nobody cares.

Pollygotacracker's picture

All the beautiful, medieval cities flattened and burned to the ground. The bombing was overkill. Revenge.

Bastiat's picture

It was terror bombing--the worst of it explicitly done to terrorize the civilian population.

UselessEater's picture

Operation Thunderclap was intentional barbarity, eg the firestorm of Dresden was the targeting civilians at a time when Germany had already lost the war.

adamas's picture

11 million Germans were murdered after the war at least it made room for 10 million Syrians invited by mutti