The Bomb Hunters is now available for institutional purchase exclusively from Dark Hollow Films. This engaging work follows the citizens of the small German town of Oranienberg as they join forces to rid their town of a deadly menace — hundreds of undetonated bombs buried beneath the ground.
At the center of Nazi efforts to build an atomic bomb, Oranienberg became the target of the heaviest single Allied bombing effort of World War II. During the last months of the war, some 10,000 bombs were released into the skies above the town.
But hundreds of these the bombs came equipped with time-delayed fuses that never exploded due to a flaw in the design. Now the bombs’ deteriorating timing mechanisms cause spontaneous explosions, posing a lethal risk to the inhabitants of the town.
Using declassified wartime archives, researchers have estimated the number and whereabouts of the remaining unexploded bombs. There are so many that the bomb removal project — which began in 1986 — is set to continue through 2030.
Rick Minnich is an independent filmmaker based in Berlin. He is also the director of Forgetting Dad — available for educational use from Dark Hollow Films.
Read more about Germany’s fight to unearth these dangerous undetonated bombs in this January 2016 Smithsonian article.