The CAMP BARCARES was established north of the town, between LE GRAU-SAINT-AGNE and the LIDO in February 1939. The barracks were built by two platoons of riot police quickly joined by 250 spanish refugees and a significant number of members of the International Brigades who were then transferred to CAMP at GURS April 20, 1939.
In the summer of 1940, gypsies expelled from the annexed territories (Alsace-Moselle) will also be interned. In 1941, there will be also foreigners deemed "not dangerous".
As in other camps in the Roussillon, the living conditions are extremely precarious: no running water, insufficient food, spread of many diseases: dysentery, typhoid, tuberculosis and malaria.
The CAMP BARCARES was placed under the direction of General MENARD and guarded by the French military. Administratively, it depended on the prefectural authority in charge of its maintenance and refueling.
From September 1939, 30 000 foreign Jews had been incorporated into the French army, either in the walk battalions of volunteers composed of at least 30% of Jews, or in the Foreign Legion or the Polish and Czech armies in France.
After the armistice, they were demobilized, interned or automatically enrolled in the FOREIGN WORKERS GROUPS instituted September 27, 1940.
This seems to be the case of Leo STOERMAN, Romanian-origin "- (he says he wrote in Romania) who belonged to the 2nd REGIMENT OF VOLUNTEER FOREIGNERS, located at BARCARES at 21 December 1939 and claiming residence certificate and certificate accommodation.
The 3rd REGIMENT OF VOLUNTEER ENGAGED FOREIGNERS was also present in the camp, as evidenced by the letter of the volunteer Michel ZADORMAISKY of March 22, 1940 destinated to Lyon.
As of March 10, 1939, John Ybarnégaray, future Minister of Youth and Family Affairs of the Vichy government, gave the figure of 13 000 internees far Camp at BARCARES.