Skip To Content
Fast Forward

First French Concentration Camp Being Converted Into Memorial

(JTA) – An abandoned train station in eastern France that during the Holocaust became the first concentration camp for Jews in that country is being rebuilt as a memorial museum.

The Pithiviers station saw in May 1941 the arrival of more than 3,500 Jews without French citizenship, whom authorities ordered to report to police stations in Paris following the Nazi invasion into France that month. The massive deportations of French Jews from Paris and beyond began in earnest approximately a year after the deportation to Pithiviers of Jews without French passports, mainly from Poland and Czechoslovakia.

That was even before Jews were being murdered en masse in Auschwitz.

The Pithiviers station had remained unused for years after the Holocaust and therefore was not changed from when it was used as a gathering and dispatch point for Jews sent to be murdered in Eastern Europe, the France3 television channel reported last week. The rails have also not been replaced.

Schools in the region have been bringing pupils to Pithiviers for years. Local authorities said they would devote hundreds of thousands of euros to preserving the place, setting up educational exhibitions on its walls and declaring it a historical monument.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.