for the Spain they believed to be better
in Argelès-sur-Mer concentration camp
The camp de concentration d’Argelès-sur-Mer was a concentration camp established on 3rd February 1939 on the territory of the French commune of Argelès-sur-Mer for Spanish Republican refugees.
According to the website of the Museu Memorial de l’Exili “many of these refugees were civilians fleeing repression or soldiers who for three years had defended the democratically elected Spanish Republic, relatively forgotten by the western democracies due to the Non-Intervention Pact. France had not prepared adequate accommodation for so many refugees and the most important measures were related to security and social control. In crossing the Pyrenees many families were separated and dispersed in diverse concentration camps and hostels around France. Women and children were sent all over France and the men ended up in the camps. Argelès-sur-Mer camp was the first of those built in Roussillon and in a few months it housed over 80,000 people. Nothing had been prepared for them and at first only the sand and clothes they wore offered them protection. Later, other camps were opened, such as that of Saint-Cyprien and Barcarès.”
The camp was closed at the end of 1939 but some months later was opened by Vichy government, when it became a concentration camp for Jews, gypsies and other ethnic groups considered undesirable by the Nazi regime. It was definitively closed by the end of World War II.
These photos were taken in January 2018 and they show the monolithe memorial in Argelès-sur-Mer and the Spanish cemetery.