11-Year-Old Brings Cool WWII Artifact to School, Everyone Horrified to See It’s a Live Shell
An 11-year-old boy in Germany both won and lost Show-and-Tell forever this week when he brought a cool old WWII artifact to school, and then caused a terrifying police incident when staff figured out it was a live, explosive shell. Um, oops.
According to The Local, the 11-year-old boy found the shell in his father’s cellar. The father had found the shell about 30 years ago on a hiking trip and picked it up as a sort of novelty, then just kept it around. The boy brought it to school this week and his teacher raised an eyebrow at the inappropriateness of bringing a WWII weapon to school, but did not really know what it was and did not think much about it. It really sounds like nobody really had any idea what the object was, even though it looked a lot like the shell pictured, except just seven inches long and very rusty. The teacher confiscated the rusty, 7-inch shell and brought it to the teachers’ lounge, at which point the school’s 62-year-old head teacher, Frithjof Eckstein, recognized the shell for what it was and presumably completely freaked out.
“I was totally shocked,” he said, in what must be one of the major understatements of his life.
It must be an odd experience to see a bunch of people just casually carrying around an object that they don’t know about, and to be the only person who recognizes it as a live explosive.
Eckstein immediately called the police to report the shell and then put it in the basement, where it would do the least amount of damage if it accidentally went off. It turns out that was a distinct possibility, too. The shell was reportedly a dud from the second world war, and the fuse had been burned down but it had not detonated. The explosive system was reportedly exposed, and the thing actually could have gone off if someone dropped it.
Eckstein deserves teacher of the decade for this one.
Police responded immediately to Eckstein’s call and safely packed the shell away and will detonate it later in a safe spot.
(Photo: AlfvanBeem/Wikimedia Commons)