Amicale du Camp de Gurs

  • Association of the Gurs Camp

History

The Gurs Camp served as an administrative internment camp from 2 April 1939 to 31 December 1945. Four distinct groups were successively imprisoned in the camp.

1- From 2 April 1939 to 10 May 1940: Spanish Republicans and volunteers of the International Brigades. In total 27 350 persons were imprisoned, all were men.

2- From 10 May 1940 to 1 September 1940: "undesirables", essentially women from Germany or countries of the Third Reich. Some 100 men were also imprisoned with the women as political prisoners (communists, Spanish Basques, etc.). In total 14 795 men and women.

3- From 1 September 1940 to 25 August 1944: foreign Jews were imprisoned in the camp. In total 18 185 men, women and children were imprisoned due to the antisemitic laws of the Vichy Regime. From 1942, will be systematically deported to Auschwitz and murdered.

4- From 25 August to 31 December 1945: collaborationists and hundreds anti-Franco militants will be interned. In total 3 370 persons, exclusively men.

Geographical and Cultural Context

The Gurs Camp is located in Béarn, at nearly the centre of the department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. It was one of the biggest camps of France: it stretched 2km in length and was 500metres wide. The camp was divised in 13 blocks that had each a letter of the alphabet as denomination (from A to M). Every block was subdivided in approximately 25 barracks. The barracks were made of wood and measured 30m long and 6m wide, if fully in use, they could host 60 persons. Nothing remains of the barracks today.

Archival and Other Holdings

  • All archives relating to the period before 28 June 1940 have been destroyed. The camp does not have any list regarding prisoners for the first two periods of the camp. t
  • All archives after 28 June 1940 are hosted by the Departmental Archives of the Pyrénées Atlantiques (Cité Administrative - Boulevard Tourrasse - 64000 Pau). For all inforamtion, you may contact them: archives@cg64.fr.
  • All archives regarding prisoners from the last two periods are on site.
  • There is also a list regarding the Spanish Basques prisoners interned in 1939 in Josu Chueca, Gurs. El campo vasco, Ed Txalaparta, 2007, 288p.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

www.campgurs.com

Opening Times

The former camp premises are accessible at all times.

Research Services

Contact the association regarding any info at: contact@campgurs.com