Dark tourism? / Gurs / Karavan, environmental sculpture
"Hommage aux anciens détenus du Camp de Gurs", environmental sculpture, Gurs, France, 1994 by Daniel Karavan. Daniel Karavan (Tel Aviv, 1930) is an Israeli sculptor best known for site specific memorials and monuments which merge into the environment.
Camp de Gurs (Gurs internment camp) was an internment and refugee camp constructed in 1939 in Gurs, a site in southwestern France, not far from Pau. The camp was originally set up by the French government after the fall of Catalonia at the end of the Spanish Civil War to control those who fled Spain out of fear of retaliation from Franco‘s regime. At the start of World War II, the French government interned German and citizens of other Axis Powers, as well as French nationals who were considered to have dangerous political ideas or who were imprisoned for ordinary crimes.
After the Vichy government signed an armistice with the Nazis in 1940, it became an Internment camps for Jews for of any nationality except French as well as people considered dangerous by the government. After France's liberation, Gurs housed German prisoners of war and French collaborators. Before its final closure in 1946, the camp also held former Spanish Republican fighters who participated in the Resistance against the German occupation because they stated intention of opposing the fascist dictatorship imposed by Franco made them threatening in the eyes of the Allies.