Ariége Museum of Deportation and Internment

Ariége Museum of Deportation and Internment ©Claire Sauvadet

For its resistance efforts against the German occupation and deportation, the town of Varilhes was chosen to house the departmental museum dedicated to deportation and internment.

The establishment is a joint effort by the Departmental Association of Deportees, Prisoners and Resistance Fighters, the Departmental Association of Patriotic Deportees, Prisoners and Resistance Fighters, and the town of Varilhes.


Decorated with the Cross of War on 11 November 1948, it was described as a "town that during the Occupation played an active part in the fight against the enemy.

The great services provided by the population to the Resistance and the Allied cause provoked reprisals from the Occupier who carried out a huge number of deportations. Twenty-two of its sons gave their life for France. (Max Lejeune, Secretary of State for the War Armed Forces).

This tribute to history and remembrance gives an illustrated and comprehensive vision of the major steps of deportation and internment between 1933 and 1945.



Four tableau present the concentration camp system to visitors:


A first part is dedicated to the emergence of the Nazi concentration camps between 1933 and 1939.


A second part highlights the beginnings of the deportation of the Jews in France from 1940 to 1942 (the Vichy Regime, the exclusion of the Jews, the roundups and imprisonment, the repression of the opponents).


A third part explains the organisation of the Deportation between 1942 and 1944 (the turning point of 1942, the departure from France, the organisation of the concentration camps, the camp: a place of order without entitlement, omnipresent death, the final solution, the Resistance).


The last theme is the end of the camps and the period of the trials (evacuation and liberation of the camps, the homecoming to France, the trials).



Ariége Museum of Deportation and Internment

Hôtel de Ville de Varilhes



Museum website



Opening times

The Museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays (2-6 pm) 

Open to school groups on weekdays, please enquire



Tourist Information Office

3 avenue Louis-Siret - 09120 Varilhes


Fax: +33 (0)5 61 60 55 54


  • Maquette de camp de concentration. Source :

  • Schlage se traduit par 25 coups de bâton, cravache ou nerf de boeuf, appliqués à toute volée sur le bas des reins. Source :

  • Potence. Source :

  • Latrines. Source :

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    Practical information


    05 61 60 73 24

    Weekly opening hours

    Wednesday and Saturday: 2-6 pm School group: every day by appointment