Camp Vernet Museum
Model of Camp Vernet on display at the museum. © GNU Free Documentation Licence – Public domain.
This museum retraces the history of Camp Vernet where 40,000 people of all nationalities were sent between 1918 and 1945. Originally a place of transit, the camp was later used for internment, holding and finally the detention of “suspect” foreigners.
Built in 1918 to house French colonial troops, principally Senegalese, at the end of the First World War Camp Vernet became a holding place for German and Austrian prisoners of war.
Between the two world wars, it served as a military depot before it was put to new use, in February 1939. Following the defeat of the Spanish Republican Army, it held thousands of Spanish civilians and soldiers seeking refuge in France where public opinion and political class was split between the political right’s fear of communism and solidarity among the left-wing parties for the Republican cause.
Its purpose changed under the Vichy regime when it was made a repressive camp for suspect foreigners. In total, some 40,000 men, women and children were interned at Camp Vernet including volunteers of international brigades fighting in the Spanish Civil War, Spanish Republicans, Jews, Italians, Russians, anti-Nazi Germans, Romanians, Yugoslavians and 10 other nationalities.
Between 1942 and 1944, six convoys were deported from this camp to Auschwitz, Avrigny and Dachau.
Camp Vernet Museum
Vernet town hall - 09700 Le Vernet
Tel: +33 (0)5 61 68 36 43
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8.30 am to 12 pm and 2-5 pm, and Wednesday mornings
Saverdun Tourist Information Office
Aire de Périès 09700 Saverdun
Tel: +33 (0)5 61 60 09 10 - Fax: +33 (0)5 61 60 99 91
Association of Political and Resistance Veterans interned at Camp Vernet
AAI du Camp du Vernet d'Ariège - 09700 Le Vernet d'Ariège
Le Vernet Internment Camp
Source: Cohen, Monique-Lise and Malo, Eric, dir., Les camps du sud-ouest de la France 1939-1944. Exclusion, internement, déportation, Toulouse, Privat, 1994 - PESCHANSKI, Denis, La France des Camps: l'internement 1936-1946, Paris
Mairie du Vernet 9700
05 61 68 36 43 06 09 28 11 73 06 79 90 30 48
Opening times: No reservation required: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 8:30 am to 12.00 pm and 1.30-5.00 pm Fridays from 8.30 am to 12.00 pm and 3.00-6.30 pm Length of visit: 90 mins. – Tours in Spanish