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Scientists use lidar to map a forgotten Nazi concentration camp off the coast of France

What today looks like an idyllic patch of land in the Channel Islands was, some 75 years ago, a Nazi concentration camp. Now, researchers have thoroughly mapped the nearly forgotten camp of Lager Sylt for the first time, National Geographic reports. Because they were not allowed to excavate, the researchers used a combination of historical aerial photographs, the laser-based remote sensing method known as lidar, and 3D reconstruction techniques. Witness accounts of the inhumane conditions at Lager Sylt—located on the island of Alderney just 15 kilometers off the French coast—have remained taboo, mainly because the camp was partly demolished and remaining records are dubious. But the new study, published 31 March in Antiquity, confirms what little is known of what happened at this camp during World War II, and researchers say it will help raise awareness of the importance of this international heritage site.

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