Tuesday, December 13, 2011
[IWS] Camp des Milles: A Memorial for the Future
IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau
Note: In light of the continuing economic crisis, it is wise to educate ourselves about the social dangers that can result if societies forget the lessons of history and act irresponsibly. With this in mind, the following ongoing educational project is being brought to your attention.
Camp des Milles: A Memorial for the Future
The mission of the project “Remembering Le Camp des Milles” is to save, maintain and open to the public the buildings of the only internment, transit and deportation camp in France which still bears visible traces from the past and is still in good condition. This site refers to a particularly painful period of History. Therefore, it represents an important element of our French national memory and of European culture.
The project is the result of a long process of remembering the past with the goal of transforming the site into a space for culture and citizen education. A special emphasis will therefore be placed on that aspect.The ambition of this project is to strengthen the visitor’s vigilance and sense of responsibility, especially that of young people, given the permanent threats posed by racism, anti-Semitism, fanaticism and totalitarianism.
[excerpt from Wikipedia]
The Camp des Milles was a French internment camp, opened in September 1939, in a former tile factory near the village of Les Milles, part of the commune of Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône).
The camp was first used to intern Germans and ex-Austrians living in the Marseille area, and by June 1940, some 3,500 artists and intellectuals were detained there. Inmates included men of letters such as Fritz Brugel, Leon Feuchtwanger, William Herzog, Alfred Kantorowicz, Golo Mann, Walter Hasenclever, scientists such as Nobel Prize laureate Otto Fritz Meyerhof, as well as musicians and painters such as Erich Itor Kahn, Hans Bellmer, Max Ernst, Hermann Henry Gowa, Gustave Herlich, Max Lingner, Ferdinand Springer, Franz Meyer, Jan Meyerowitz, Franz Waxman, François Willi Wendt and Robert Liebknecht.  
Between 1941 and 1942 Le Camp des Milles was used as a transit camp for Jews, mainly men. Women were at the Centre Bompard in Marseille, while they waited for their visas and anthorisations to emigrate. As emigration became impossible, Les Milles became one of the centres de rassemblement before deportation. About 2,000 of the inmates were shipped off to the Drancy internment camp on the way to Auschwitz.
After the war, the site was briefly re-opened in 1946 as a factory.
Since 1993, the sites serves as a World War II memorial.
In 1995 a movie titled Les Milles commemorating this camp and the events that took place in this camp at the time of the Armistice in June 1940 was made.
HISTORY OF THE CAMP (click translate for English version)
ADDITIONAL SECTIONS are being translated into ENGLISH
Go to the FRENCH VERSION for additional information at
This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.
Director, IWS News Bureau
Institute for Workplace Studies
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Telephone: (607) 262-6041
Fax: (607) 255-9641