I always wondered if this was a planned Mossad demolition, an operation authorized by a newly elected Netanyahu government (Feb-09). The general story is that construction of an underground train line tunnel was the cause. It just seemed possibly fishy, with all the threats about destroying European cities by nuke or whatnot.

A millenium payback?

Germans missing in archive collapse
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
14:46 Mecca time, 11:46 GMT

Strange noises

The historical archive was one of the biggest of its kind in Germany and housed, among other, papers from Heinrich Boell, the Nobel Prize winning German author.

Witnesses said the building appeared to groan and creak before collapsing.

"I heard a giant bang and then suddenly saw this giant gray dust cloud. It was like a Hollywood film," Mustafa Goresme, who watched the archive fall as he sat in a restaurant, said.

History in Ruins 03/04/2009
Archive Collapse Disaster for Historians
The collapse of the Historical Archive of Cologne on Tuesday buried more than a millenium's worth of documents under tons of rubble. Archivists and historians hope something can be salvaged, but the future of the city's past is grim.