You are here: Home Western & Southeastern Europe France GURS: (Pyrénées-Atlantiques département, Aquitaine région): Pau
GURS: (Pyrénées-Atlantiques département, Aquitaine région): Pau PDF Print E-mail

43°17' N 0°45' W , 412.7 miles SSW of Paris see PAU.

The first detention camp in France was set up there in 1939. 30  km west of Pau, Gurs is the site of one of France's largest internment camps. Some 800 Jews died here during the winter of 1940. In July 1942, following an inspection by one of Adolph Eichmann's deputies, Gurs inmates were moved to Drancy outside Paris and then in 1942-1943, 6,000 of the prisoners were deported to death camps. First having intended for the Spanish republican refugees, it then received numerous Jews, before their departure for the Camp of Drancy and Auschwitz. The camp cemetery contains the graves of 1,200 Jews.Among the prisoners of this camp was Hannah Arendt. [January 2008]  See photograph for a 15 March 2001 commemoration held at Gurs restored cemetery. [January 2002]

History: "GURS (near Pau, Basses-Pyrénées), one of France's largest concentration camps during World War II. Situated in southwestern France in what would later be the Unoccupied Zone, it was first used to intern Republican Spanish refugees, and then, later, refugees from Austria and Germany. After the Franco-German armistice in June 1940, Jews were brought to the camp. Food supply and sanitary conditions in Gurs were worse than in the camps of the Occcupied Zone. Some 800 Jews died there in the winter of 1940. In 1941 there were 15,000 internees, including 7,200 Jews who had been deported from the Palatinate and Baden in western Germany, and about 3,000 Jewish refugees who had been arrested in Belgium on May 10, 1940, and had been sent first to the French concentration camp Saint-Cyprien on the Spanish border. In the second half of July 1942, Theodor Dannecker, Adolf Eichmann's representative in France, inspected the Gurs camp. Shortly afterwards, most of the internees were sent to *Drancy, and from there to death camps. Deportations ended in the summer of 1943. Only 735 women, 250 men, and 215 children remained in Gurs when it was finally closed down. The cemetery near the camp contains the graves of 1,200 Jews." Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group.

YIVO Resources [Apr 2014]


  • Bericht ueber die letzten Ruhestaetten der am 22.10.1940 nach Suedfrankreich deportierten badischen Juden (Report on the last peaceful resting places of Baden Jews who were deported to the South of France on 22.10.1940) by Baden Oberrat des Israeliten. Karlsruhe: 1958. 68 pages, German. S58B1656. Notes: 5617 names, 1940-1944, Holocaust alphabetical list by camps. Some lists include birth date and place. Submitted by Mathilde A. Tagger from her book Printed Books on Jewish cemeteries in the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem: an Annotated Bibliography . Jerusalem: The Israel Genealogical Society, 1997. [January 2002]
  • Z. Szajkowski, Analytical Franco-Jewish Gazetteer (1966), 214-2; J. Weill, Contribution à l'histoire de camps d'internement dans l'Anti-France (1946). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M.R. Marrus and R.O. Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews (1981), 172-3, 306-7.

Gurs Concentration Camp Cimetiere juif: "In April, 1939, the Gurs Concentration Camp was established by the French. It initially served as a detention camp for political refugees fleeing Spain after the Spanish Civil War. In early 1940, the French government interned about 4,000 German Jewish refugees as "enemy aliens," along with French leftists who opposed the Allies. After the French armistice with Germany in June 1940, Gurs fell under the authority of the leftist collaborationist French government - the antisemitic Vichy regime.Conditions in the Gurs camp were very primitive. It was overcrowded and there was a constant shortage of water, food, and clothing. During 1940-1941, 800 detainees died of contagious diseases, including typhoid fever and dysentery. Vichy French authorities closed the Gurs camp in November 1943. Almost 22,000 prisoners had passed through Gurs, of whom over 18,000 were Jewish. More than 1,100 internees died in the camp." [Apr 2014]

pictures [Apr 2014]


Last Updated on Thursday, 01 May 2014 21:37
Web site created by Open Sky Web Design based on a template by Red Evolution