The delicate subject of the internment camps under the French Administration during the Second World War, of which the general public has been unaware for a long time, has come to light during the last few years.

What were the circumstances which led the French Government to create internment camps?

After the rise of Adolf HITLER to power, thousands of Germans and Austrians hostile to Nazism - two thirds of whom were Jews - took refuge in France. This population was subjected "to a permanent special monitoring in the interest of public order or safety" as wrote "LE MATIN" on February 23, 1939.

It should be specified that in France at that time a true psychosis of the "5th column" reigned. The signing of the Germano-Soviet Pact on August 23, 1939, led to further fears, that German Communists sheltering in our country would support their French counterparts who had recently found themselves outside the law.

Anna Plowman 30-04-2006
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