Between 1940 and the end of the Second World War in 1945, around 2 million tonnes of bombs were dropped over Germany.
During the Second World War, a total of 23,000 tonnes of bombs were dropped on Hanover alone in 129 attacks, of which approx. 10-15 % did not explode. These continue to pose a danger, as previous explosive ordnance finds have clearly shown that the explosives have not lost their explosive power.
According to the Lower Saxony Law on Public Safety and Order (Niedersächsisches Gesetz über die öffentliche Sicherheit und Ordnung, Nds. SOG), the fundamental obligation of the state of Lower Saxony to remove explosive ordnance under Article 30 of the Basic Law lies with the municipalities.
According to § 7 Nds. SOG, costs incurred in the removal of explosive ordnance are generally borne by the party causing the disturbance, i.e. the owner of the property. If the suspicion of danger is not confirmed, the costs are borne by the competent hazard prevention authority. If the suspicion of danger is confirmed, the costs of the necessary removal of the danger and of the preceding danger investigation can be imposed on the party causing the danger (Nds. OVG, decision of 29.1.2009 - AZ. 11 LC 480/07).
Although the state of Lower Saxony bears the costs of bomb disposal for reasons of equity, the evacuation costs of the municipality are not part of the direct costs of bomb disposal and are therefore reimbursable under the conditions of § 66 para. 1 sentence 2 Nds. SOG. The actual costs of the evacuation are to be reimbursed; a flat-rate charge is not required.
The costs, described below as an example for the city of Hannover, can be distributed as follows:
Table 1Exemplary costs of a bomb disposal, City of Hanover
|Position||Description||Chargeable||Approximate cost [€]|
|1||Aerial photo evaluation||State disturber||2,5 T€|
|2||Preparation and follow-up of the salvage operation||State disturber||10T€ - 50T€|
|3||Salvage and disposal of explosive ordnance||KBD Lower Saxony|
|4||Evacuation and care of the population||State disturber||4T€ - 62T€|
|5||Hazard removal / backfilling of blast pit||State disturber|
While Lower Saxony has a specific legal basis in § 66 para. 1 sentence 2 Nds. SOG that justifies the reimbursement of costs for additional official acts (e.g. evacuation measures), this is not regulated uniformly for all federal states. Therefore, in the case of an additional official act, it must be checked whether a legal basis exists in the respective federal state that regulates the obligation to bear the costs between the party causing the disturbance and the authority or the responsible explosive ordnance disposal service.