As a preliminary, it is advisable to make a light return behind with the arrival in France, February-March 1939, of several hundreds of thousands Spanish Republicans as well as members of the International Brigades.
The entry of the nationalist troops in MADRID on March 26, 1939 had marked the victory of the General and had free caused this massive exodus.
270 000 soldiers, 170 000 civil and 13 000 wounded and sick will have to be lodged in camps open to haste.
If this delicate problem of the Spanish refugees does not seem directly related to that of the internment during the Second World war, account should nevertheless be held owing to the fact that, insofar as they cannot or want to regain Spain, much these men will be made prisoners a little later by the German troops and will find themselves quickly in the Concentration camp of MAUTHAUSEN, for example, or in that of AURIGNY.
From April 1939, the volunteers will form COMPANIES OF WORKERS on behalf of the French Army.
Here are two examples:
The correspondence of the Spanish Republicans will be severely restricted in its volume by the application of a circular of May 17, 1939 envisaging attribution to each refugee of two stamps of frankness per month, with the Paix type at 90 C overloaded F. Seven important camps were equipped with a post office having a stamp with date: GURS, RIVESALTES, ARGELES-SUR-MER, ST-CYPRIEN-PLAGE, AGDE and SEPTFONDS.
The seven camps of GURS, RIVESALTES, ARGELES-SUR-MER, ST-CYPRIEN-PLAGE, AGDE and SEPTFONDS are placed under the direction of General MENARD and administratively depend on the authority of the prefects charged to ensure maintenance and the supply.
Other camps will open during the winter 1939: