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Virtual Earth map of Camp Blechhammer

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The Blechhammer (English: sheet metal hammer) area was the location of Nazi Germany prisoner of war (POW) and forced labor camps (German: Arbeitslager Blechhammer, Nummernbücher). Labor camp prisoners began arriving as early as June 17, 1942, and the mobile “pocket furnace” (German: Taschenofen) crematorium was at Sławięcice. The March (1945) evacuated POWs (one camp went to Regensburg, BAB 21 went to Landshut) and on January 25, labor camp prisoners were force-marched for five days to Bergen Belsen (about 20% died enroute).

Two plants in the area, Blechhammer North (south of Sławięcice) and Blechhammer South at Azoty (5 miles (8.0 km) from the[clarification needed] labor camp) were nicknamed "Black Hammer" by Allied bomber aircrews. The facilities were approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) apart with each occupying a 3,000 x 5,000 ft area in open country, and the plants used bituminous coal in the Bergius process to synthesize Ersatz oil.


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