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Internment camps of South West France 1939-1944

An opportunity to share knowledge and unlock the past.

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I’m Bernard Wilson, a retired college lecturer. For some years I’ve been researching the work of the American Friends Service Committee in France and Spain, and several people have contacted me for help and information. Some I’ve been able to help, and some I’ve put in touch with others.









The purpose of this website is to make it easier for people with an interest in this subject to contact each other. So please take a look at the information here, and then if you have anything to ask or to add, please use the forum page to do so.

More than seventy years ago, this camp was occupied by thousands of unfortunate people from many different countries. Some were Spanish refugees, moved here from the temporary camps on the shores of the Mediterranean. Some were Jews from all over Europe, awaiting deportation to Drancy, and then on to the extermination camps of Eastern Europe. There were men, women and children here. They were ill-clothed, ll-fed, and disease ridden. They were swept by the Tramontane, the wind from the mountains, scorching hot in summer, and bitterly cold in winter. And not one of them had done anything wrong to deserve such a fate. But there was a glimmer of hope - there were the aid organisations who brought food, clothing, medical help and the possibility of release - at least for some of the children. This website is about them.


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 Rivesaltes camp barrack, 2013