Civil defence sirens


Actually, few cities and towns in Germany still have these. Many (if not most) were taken out of service since the mid-90's.

This is the sound that no German ever wants to hear, particularly not those who remember the Cold War:

Imagine (unless you experienced it) to hear it on  test run with a test signal sequence, knowing that you live at the frontier of NATO during the Cold War, expecting to simply die within minutes, hours or days after hearing that signal above - regardless of what you do or our soldiers try. It would make no difference between getting killed by a red or a blue bomb.
The perception as I remember it wasn't that "only" a million or two of us would die as simulated since the 50's, but more likely pretty much everyone.

It's been a quarter century already, and I wonder by how much the collective memory has faded and will fade.



  1. Once you get used to it, it's one of those things you only really notice when you're not busy with something. One can only hope Putin won't strike on work hours, most would be dead before they figured it isn't Monday..

  2. I live by the US Army War college in the US. I occasionally see Bundeswehr soldiers and officers rotate through, and I will generally talk to them if only to keep my German up.

    Anyway, got to talk to a stabsfeldwebel about the cold war, and he said something that summed it up really well: "America, the Russians, it didn't matter who won. Germany would lose".