Concentration camps in France?

Are there any former internment/concentration camps open to the public? I've had a look on various sites, but it seems that most of them were demolished and marked with a momument. Do any still remain?

Thank you.

1 Answer

  • gatita
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Prior to the German invasion of France on May 10, 1940, there were about 300,000 Jews in France. Under the terms of the armistice signed at the end of June, France was divided into two zones: and occupied zone and an unoccupied zone. Of the 85,000 to 90,000 Jews ultimately deported, it is estimated that only 3,000 survived.

    At the time of the armistice, there were over 30 "camps de concentration" in the unoccupied zone of which the major camps were Le Vernet (Ariege), Rieucros (Lozere), Argeles (Pyrenees-Orientales), Les Milles, Gurs, Noe, and Recebedou. The major camps established ultimately in the occupied zone were Beaune-la-Rolande (Loiret), Pithiviers (Loiret) and Drancy. It is estimated that at the time of the armistice, there were about 50,000 Jews in camps in both zones. As a result of deaths, releases and emigration, this number decreased significantly by the end of 1941. Significant deportations began in March, 1942. In the unoccupied zone, the Vichy authorities were reluctant to act against French Jews, but not against Jewish refugees from other countries. Hilberg estimates that two-thirds of the deportees were non-French Jews.


    Barcares:Le Barcares was the site of a camp built originally to house Spanish Republican soldiers who crossed the border in early 1939.

    Brens:Brens was a camp in the Tarn département of the Midi-Pyrénées région, southern France.

    D'Agde-- D'Agde was a camp in the Herault département, of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, southern France.

    Drancy-- Drancy was established in August, 1941, in a suburb northeast of Paris in order to receive Jews rounded up that month in Paris. Ultimately, it became the principal deportation center to Auschwitz for Jews in both the occupied and unoccupied zones.

    Gurs-- Gurs was located in the Basque region of France, about 50 miles from the Spanish border.

    Les Milles-- Les Milles was a camp located in the Aix countryside in the south east of France.

    Noe-- Noe was a camp 25 miles south of Toulouse in southern France.

    Recebedou-- Recebedou was a camp just south of Toulouse in southern France.

    Rieucros-- This camp was located in the Mende (Lozere) region. In October, 1939, it was transformed into a camp for women.

    Rivesaltes-- This camp, used primarily for Jews, was located in Pyrenees-Orientales area of occupied France.

    St. Paul d'Eyjeaux-- This camp was located near Limoges in south central France.

    Sourioux-- This camp was located near Vierzon in southwest France.

    Vernet d'Ariege-- This camp was located near Pamiers in the Ariege region of Southern France.

    Vittel-- Vittel was an internment and transit camp located in northeast France near Nancy.

    As far as there being any of them to visit, I could find no references. This web site has copies of postcards and letters from Jewish internees in the camps to their relatives.


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