Berlin Jewish hospital evacuates patients after workers unearth war-era bomb

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Berlin Jewish hospital evacuates patients after workers unearth war-era bomb

The device was dropped near the hospital by an American bomber during the Second World War

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

A Jewish hospital in Berlin was evacuated on Sunday morning as officials began work on defusing a Second World War-era bomb that was discovered close to the building.

Police declared a restricted zone within 500 metres of the building in the Gesundbrunnen district, with officers moving door to door to ensure residents had left their homes.

Vans carrying loudhailers also combed the neighbourhood in the hope of catching anyone still left at home.

The 250 kilogram device, which was dropped by an American bomber during the war, was declared safe soon after it was discovered by construction workers in the grounds of hospital on 19 November.

But officials said a widespread evacuation would be needed as a precaution to defuse the device, triggering an operation that included removing all patients.

The hospital, known by its German initials JKB, said in a statement that it began treating patients again on Monday.

Bomb disposal experts posed for photographs next to the device on Sunday evening after it had been declared safe.

JKB is one of Berlin’s oldest hospitals, having treated patients for over 260 years ago.

It treated patients even during the Nazi era, even though its licence to practice medicine was revoked and only Jews were admitted inside.

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