Beaune-la-Rolande internment camp was an internment and transit camp[b] for foreign-born Jews (men, women, and children), located in Beaune-la-Rolande in occupied France, it was operational between May 1941 and July 1943, during World War II.
|Original use||POW camp|
|Operational||14 May 1941 – 12 July 1943|
|Inmates||French, Polish, Czechoslovak, Austrian and German Jews|
|Number of inmates||6.800[a]|
|Killed||6.400 deported to Auschwitz|
|Notable inmates||René Blum, Zber, Ralph Erwin, Adélaïde Hautval, Denise Kandel|
The camp was first established in 1939, to house future German prisoners of war (POWs). In 1940, following the fall of France, the Germans used it to intern French POW's. On 14 May 1941, the first Jewish prisoners, most of them Polish, arrived following the green ticket roundup, the camp became an internment camp for foreign-born Jews administered by the Loiret prefect under Nazi supervision. The camp consisted of 14 barracks, surrounded by barbed wire and watchtowers and guarded by French gendarmes, the detainees had to perform work inside the camp and at the local farms and plants outside the camp. It was a Type 1 camp meaning that all the inmates were there by decision of the German occupying authorities. In May 1942, by order of Theodor Dannecker, the Germans took over operations from the French and began deporting most of the internees, including 1,500 children. In September 1942 the camp became an internment facility for non-Jewish communist prisoners. The camp was closed on 4 August 1943.
Together with Pithiviers and Jargeau, Beaune-la-Rolande was one of three internment camps established in the Loiret. During its existence 6,800 foreign and French-born Jews, including 1,500 children, passed through the camp, most of them were eventually deported and murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Beaune-la-Rolande camp was initially built in 1939 to receive future German prisoners of war (POWs), it was converted after the Fall of France into a German camp to hold French POWs before their transfer to camps in Germany. Beaune-la-Rolande and the neighbouring Pithiviers camp, with which it was closely associated, were two sites of Frontstalag 152 an internment camp founded by the Wehrmacht on 20 July 1940. Both camps were greatly overpopulated holding about 13,000 prisoners each according to an inspection by a German commander. A review by a French humanitarian organisation found 14,000 held in Beaune-la-Rolande many suffering from dysentery, the French authority confirmed, in late 1940, that the detainees, many of them colonial troops from Morocco and Algeria, were on the brink of starvation. In addition to prisoners of war, both Beaune-la-Rolande and Pithiviers also held French political prisoners. Frontstalag 152 was disbanded on 21 March 1941.
Following a request by the Militärbefehlshaber in Frankreich (MBF) (German Military Command in France) to intern all foreign Jews in application of the 1940 anti-Jewish legislation, the camp became an internment centre for foreign-born Parisian Jews. The first prisoners to arrive in May 1941 were 1,552 foreign and stateless Jews, mainly Polish men from the Paris area, victims of the Green ticket roundup.
In May 1942, SS-Hauptsturmführer Theodor Dannecker ordered German authorities across France to take over operations of the camps from the French, prisoners were not allowed to leave the camp or to perform labour and deportations began. A thousand Parisian Jews, mostly women and children, were transferred to Beaune-la-Rolande on 20 July 1942, following the Vel d’Hiv roundup.  As August 1942 began, 1,500 children remained in Beaune-la-Rolande (as well as in Pithiviers) after their parents were deported to Auschwitz. On 19, 22 and 25 August the children were sent to Drancy before being deported to Auschwitz where they were sent to the gas chambers and murdered. In September 1942 the camp reverted to French control and became an internment facility for non-Jewish communist prisoners.
The camp was administered by the prefectural office of the Loiret but frequently inspected by representatives of the German occupying authorities. Inmates were housed across 19 barracks and guarded by French gendarmes under Nazi oversight. At the end of 1941, these consisted of four officers, 80 gendarmes, 43 customs officers and 22 auxiliary guards, totalling 120 men.
The prisoners performed forced labour within the camp's workshops and garden, and outside at the farms and plants in the surrounding villages. Beaune-la-Rolande was closely associated with the Pithiviers camp, located 18 kilometres (11 miles) away. Between 20 July and 23 August 1941, 313 of Beaune-la-Rolande's 2,000 prisoners managed to escape custody, usually from worksites outside the camp, 85 for the last week of July alone, this represented more than 15% of the total population of the camp and had been helped, according to the authorities, by the negligence of the French gendarmes.
Two convoys left Beaune-la-Rolande for Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942.
Notable Beaune-la-Rolande incarcerees Edit
- René Blum, founder of the Ballet de l'Opéra at Monte Carlo, was interned in the camp.
- The Austrian-born French composer Ralph Erwin died while being held in the camp.
- Polish artist Zber was imprisoned in the camp, where he completed some of his paintings, before his deportation to Auschwitz.
In 1965, a stele was constructed at the site in memory of the Jewish internees, on 14 may 1989, a larger monument in black marble with a list of victims and a gold star of David etched out on its summit was added. On the stele, is inscribed the following phrase:
Que cette pierre témoigne de la souffrance des hommes
May this stone bear witness to the suffering of men
In 1994, a commemorative plaque was affixed to the facade of the old train station by the Association des Fils et des Filles des déportés juifs de France (Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees of France).
In 2008, the remains of Barracks no.4, one of the buildings where prisoner slept, were dismantled and reassembled in Orléans, in the courtyard of the Musée-Mémorial des enfants du Vel 'd'Hiv’.
In popular culture Edit
- Sarah's Key, a 2010 French film taking place during and after the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup based on a novel by Tatiana de Rosnay.
- The Round Up, a 2010 French film about the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup and the events surrounding it.
- Illusions perdues 1941-1942. Fragments d’une vie en sursis. A 2011 French documentary about the victims of the Beaune-la-Rolande camp.
- Beaune-la-Rolande, a 2003 book by Cécile Wajsbrot.
- After the Roundup, escape and Survival in Hitler's France, a 2017 biography book by Joseph Weismann that inspired the movie The Round Up.
- La petite fille du Vel' d'Hiv, a 1991 book by Annette Muller.
See also Edit
- Rutkowski 1982, p. 162.
- Rutkowski 1982, p. 167.
- Megargee & White 2018, p. XXV.
- Walter, Laqueur & Baumel-Schwartz 2001, p. 92.
- Megargee & White 2018, p. 111.
- Megargee & Hecker 2022, p. 192-IA125.
- Walter, Laqueur & Baumel-Schwartz 2001, p. 219.
- Denis Peschanski 2002, p. 514.
- Denis Peschanski 2002, p. 30.
- Poznanski, Bracher & United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 2001, pp. 264–265.
- Wieviorka 2000, p. 31.
- Rutkowski 1982, p. 21.
- Solly 2018.
- Rutkowski 1982, p. 19.
- Denis Peschanski 2002, p. 744.
- Rutkowski 1982, p. 154.
- Rutkowski 1982, p. 157.
- Rutkowski 1982, p. 156.
- Chazin-Bennahum 2011, p. 219.
- Cullin et al. 2008, p. 273.
- Novodorsqui-Deniau & Hazan 2006, p. 97.
- de Rosnay 2007, p. 145.
- Ville de Beaune-la-Rolande 2019.
- France Bleu 2021.
- Tartaglione 2009.
- Wajsbrot 2003.
- Weismann & Kutner 2017.
- Muller 2014.
- Chazin-Bennahum, J. (2011). Rene Blum and The Ballets Russes: In Search of a Lost Life. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-983047-3.
- Cullin, M.; Gruber, P.; Gruber, P.D.; Orpheus Trust (Vienna, Austria) (2008). Douce France: Musik-Exil in Frankreich 1933-1945 - Musiciens en exil en France 1933-1945. Böhlau. ISBN 978-3-205-77773-1.
- de Rosnay, T. (2007). Sarah's Key. St. Martin's Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4299-8521-5.
- Denis Peschanski (2002). La France des camps: l'internement, 1938-1946 (in French). Gallimard. ISBN 978-2-07-073138-1.
- Megargee, G.P.; White, J. (2018). USHMM Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos under European Regimes Aligned with Nazi Germany: Volume III:. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-02386-5.
- Megargee, G.P.; Hecker, M. (2022). The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945, Volume IV. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-06091-4.
- Muller, A. (2014). La petite fille du Vel d'Hiv. Le Livre de poche. Jeunesse (in French). Librairie générale française. ISBN 978-2-01-002373-6.
- Novodorsqui-Deniau, M.; Hazan, K. (2006). Pithiviers-Auschwitz, 17 juillet 1942, 6H 15: convoi 6, camp de Pithiviers et Beaune-la-Rolande (in French). Cercil. ISBN 978-2-9507561-6-9.
- Poznanski, R.; Bracher, N.; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2001). Jews in France During World War II. Brandeis University Press. ISBN 978-1-58465-144-4.
- Wajsbrot, C. (2003). Beaune-la-Rolande. Zulma. ISBN 978-2-84304-266-9.
- Walter, B.J.T.L.; Laqueur, W.; Baumel-Schwartz, J.T. (2001). The Holocaust Encyclopedia. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-13811-5.
- Weismann, J.; Kutner, R. (2017). After the Roundup: Escape and Survival in Hitler's France. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-02704-7.
- Wieviorka, A. (2000). Les biens des internés des camps de Drancy, Pithiviers et Beaune-la-Rolande (in French). Documentation française. ISBN 978-2-11-004548-5.
- "A Orléans, le Musée Mémorial des enfants du Vel d'Hiv fête ses 10 ans avec de nouveaux projets". France Bleu (in French). 2021-01-28. Retrieved 2021-07-08.
- "Illusions perdues, 1941-1942". FilmsDocumentaires.com (in French).
- "Le camp d'internement". Ville de Beaune-la-Rolande (in French). 2019-04-06. Archived from the original on 2022-10-04. Retrieved 2021-07-10.
- Rutkowski, Adam (1982). "Beaune-la-Rolande internment v (Loiret) (May 14, 1941 - July 12, 1943)". Le Monde Juif (in French). Vol. 106, no. 2. pp. 39–74.
- Solly, Meilan (2018-12-28). "Museum to Be Built at Site of Nazi-Occupied France's First Concentration Camp". Smithsonian Magazine.
- Tartaglione, Nancy (2009-11-04). "Alain Goldman mounts French Holocaust epic with Gaumont". Screen.