Évadé (French; lit.'escapee'), often known in France as the Évadés de France (lit.'Escapees of France') to distinguish them from escaped prisoners of war, was the term applied to French and Belgian nationals who attempted to escape from German-occupied Europe to reach the United Kingdom or other Allied territories in World War II. Many attempted to cross the French border into Spain with the help of paid intermediaries (passeurs) or local sympathisers in an attempt to reach Portugal or Gibraltar Colony where it was possible to arrange transport to the United Kingdom with Allied help. Many were detained in Spain with some being held at Miranda concentration camp. A smaller number travelled to Sweden or Switzerland instead. Dutch nationals making similar journeys were often referred to as Engelandvaarders. On arrival in the United Kingdom, the évadés were held at the Patriotic School in London where they were interrogated to discover any Axis spies hidden among them. Subsequently many joined the armies in exile in the United Kingdom or other Allied services.

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Further readingEdit

  • Belot, Robert (1998). Aux frontières de la liberté : Vichy-Madrid-Alger-Londres : s'évader de France sous l'Occupation. Paris: Fayard. ISBN 9782213591759.
  • Catala, Michel (2002). "L'exil français en Espagne pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale 1940-1945". Matériaux pour l'histoire de notre temps (67): 78–83.
  • Ferrer, Thomas (2018). Passeurs et évadés dans les Pyrénées: Franchir la frontière franco-espagnole durant la Seconde guerre mondiale. Paris: Cairn. ISBN 9782350686387.
  • Vive, Marcel; Vieville, Robert (1998). Les évadés de France à travers l'Espagne: Guerre, 1939-1945. Paris: Editions des écrivains. ISBN 978-2912134769.
  • Weber, Guy (1979). Évadés: voyageurs sans passeport. Brussels: Editions Louis Musin.