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A witness to the dark years of the 20th century (the Spanish Civil War, Second World War and Algerian War), the Rivesaltes camp occupies a unique and prominent place in the history of France.

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Originally conceived as a military camp, Rivesaltes was, successively, southern France’s principal internment camp for Spanish Republicans, foreign Jews and gypsies, in 1941-42; a “guarded residence centre” for collaborators and depot for Axis POWs between 1944 and 1948; and a holding camp for harkis and their families between 1962 and 1964.

To tell its story, a memorial was built on the site of Block F of the camp, amid the ruins of the huts that were home to more than 60 000 people. Designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti, the building, with an area of 4 000 m2, is both a reference centre for the history of the forced displacement and detention of people, and a key remembrance site.


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