Tarbes Resistance and Deportation Museum, Hautes-Pyrénées

© DR

A WWII museum founded by 18 Veteran, Resistant, Deportee and other associations...

A WWII museum founded by 18 veteran, resistant, deportee and other associations presenting the area's history (the war prisoners, stalags, deportees, escapees and resistants, the Franc Pommiès corps, and the Bigorre Regiment).

 

The history

18 veteran, resistant and deportee associations worked together to build this museum which was inaugurated in 1989. It contains 1,400 stamps, posters, photographs, objects and models to illustrate an episode in French history in the light of international developments. It shows Resistants and their relentless efforts to free France and preserve human dignity. This collection was originally compiled by a group of deportees as an itinerant exhibition. Today, however, it is on show in a building that used to belong to a school. You will find information about events in the area's history and about the stories of the people who shaped it.

Thematic collections

The emprisonment (emprisonnement) collection tells the story of the 1.6 million French war prisoners who got caught up in this "peculiar" war. These soldiers were victims of the June 1940 "debacle" and many of them spent five years behind barded-wire fences in the stalags. This collection casts light on internment conditions though testimonials by prisoners who survived Stalag 325 Rawa-Ruska, the easternmost camp (it was in Ukraine). That was where Hitler's Germany sent the recidivist escapees and saboteurs it could not defang and therefore wanted to eradicate. It also illustrated daily life in those camps.

 

Stories of deportees' tribulations and of escapees' quests to cross the Pyrenees and join the Allied forces to take part in France's liberation unfurl concurrently. This museum also tells the stories of this region's Resistance. Examples include the railway workers (cheminots) and their role in the Battle of the Rails (Bataille du Rail), the Hispano-Suiza (Alstom) plant sabotage by a Franc Pommiès commando (which spared the population a brutal air raid), and the Bigorre Regiment's first battalion, a group of Upper Pyrenees'Free Corps (Corps Francs) volunteers that joined the Pointe de Grave front and took the Pocket of Royan (Poche de Royan) in April 1945.
 

 

Museum services

The museum can arrange meetings with WWII eyewitnesses. It also caters to school groups (including eyewitness meetings) by appointment. It likewise plays an active role in the annual national Résistance and Deportation contest, making travel arrangement for winners. An audiovisual room showing video footage of the deportation, resistance and landings, and a WWII library (on-site, by appointment). Current projects Gathering eyewitness testimonials.
 

 

Tarbes Resistance and Deportation Museum

63, rue Georges Lassalle 65000 Tarbes Phone

+33 (0) 562 51 11 60

 

Tourist Information Office

3, Cours Gambetta 65000 Tarbes

Phone +33 (0) 562 51 30 31

Fax: +33 (0) 562 441 763

e-mail: accueil@tarbes.com

 

Office du tourisme de Tarbes

 

Opening hours and visits

Open by appointment Monday through Friday 9.00 am to 12.00 noon and 2.00 to 5.00 pm

 

Free admission

Limited access for reduced-mobility visitors.

  • Vue de la façade du musée. © DR

  • Affiche du camp - Rawa-Ruska. © www.vic-bigorre.com

  • Affiche du musée. © www.ville-tarbes.fr

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    Practical information

    Address

    63 rue Georges Lassalle 65000
    Tarbes
    05 62 51 11 60

    Weekly opening hours

    Ouvert sur rendez-vous du lundi au vendredi de 9h à 12h et 14h à 17h