France / Provence

Les Milles

When war was declared in September 1939, the authorities opened an assembly camp in a tile works in the village Les Milles. Here they assembled foreign nationals from the hostile powers: anti-Nazi Germans and Austrians, Jews, and refugees. Among them were members of the émigré intelligentsia: Max Ernst, Hans Bellmer, Max Lingner. After the defeat of the French army and the armistice, the camp was turned into a “transit camp” for possible emigrants. Even before the Germans occupied the “Free-Zone” in August-September 1942, the Vichy authorities ordered that some 2000 Jews be deported to Drancy, and from there to the death camps. The camp was closed in March 1943.