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Essen is a city in the Land (federal state) of Nord Rhein-Westfalen in western Germany; it forms part of the industrial Ruhr conurbation. It grew rapidly in the nineteenth century, its industries based on coal mining and iron and steel manufacture, and it was also the birthplace of the giant Krupp engineering and armaments works. Because of its strategic economic significance, it was subjected to extremely heavy aerial bombardment during the Second World War. The population of Essen is 582,000 (2006).