A review has been given of German developments during the last 20 years. Four methods for the low-temperature carbonization of coal have been developed to the industrial stage; two involving the use of externally heated, intermittent, metallic chamber ovens; and two employing the principle of internal heating by means of a current of gas. Tar from externally heated retorts can be used directly as fuel oil, but that from internally heated retorts requires further treatment. In order to extend the range of coals available for low-temperature carbonization, and to economize metals, an externally heated type of retort constructed of ceramic material has been developed to the industrial stage by T. An excellent coke and a tar that can be used directly as fuel oil are obtained. The properties of the tar obtained from Upper Silesian coal are briefly summarized.