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Esslingen, Germany

Landesamt für Denkmalpflege im Regierungspräsidium Stuttgart

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Projekt KZ Natzweiler 3D Models

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The “Unternehmen Wüste” (“Operation Desert”) was a shale oil project launched by the Nazi regime towards the end of World War II in today Baden-Wurttemberg. Four test facilities and ten shale oil factories were built, accompanied by seven concentration camps. Vast areas of land were confiscated and altered through mining, oil shale piles, processing facilities, tailings and extensive networks of field railways and pipelines. The entire project turned out to be a technological failure. After the war, almost all facilities were dismantled and levelled. Since the 1980s local memorial initiatives have developed educational trails along the remaining heritage, which follow the history of the Nazi oil industry and forced labor.