I was wondering whether anyone knew if there were records of prisoners interred at Camp de Gur in France during World War II.

I know my great-grandfather was interred in France after fighting in the Spanish Civil War but not sure which camp.

Does anybody know if there are any resources I could consult to find out if he was at Camp de Gur?

1 Answer 1


You're talking about "Camp de Gurs", a french internment camp between 1939 and 1946. Given that your great-grandfather have fought during the Spanish Civil War, I find your hypothesis quite good.

Taken from wikipedia:

Gurs Internment Camp was a internment camp and prisoner of war camp constructed in 1939 in Gurs, a site in southwestern France, not far from Pau. The camp was originally set up by the French government after the fall of Catalonia at the end of the Spanish Civil War to control those who fled Spain out of fear of retaliation from Francisco Franco's regime. At the start of World War II, the French government interned 4,000 German Jews as "enemy aliens," along with French socialists political leaders and those who opposed the war with Germany.

After the Vichy government signed an armistice with the Nazis in 1940, it became an Internment camp for mainly German Jews, as well as people considered dangerous by the government. After France's liberation, Gurs housed German prisoners of war and French collaborators. Before its final closure in 1946, the camp held former Spanish Republican fighters who participated in the Resistance against the German occupation, because their stated intention of opposing the fascist dictatorship imposed by Franco made them threatening in the eyes of the Allies.

There is a list of names here: http://gurs.free.fr/liste.html (names taken from a book) but I'm not sure it's complete.

I've found on this other site these informations (in french):

Le camp de Gurs a servi de lieu d’internement administratif du 2 avril 1939 au 31 décembre 1945. Quatre groupes principaux d’internés s’y sont succédés, sans jamais véritablement s’y rencontrer.

1- du 2 avril 1939 au 10 mai 1940 : les Républicains espagnols et les volontaires des Brigades internationales. Au total, 27 350 personnes, exclusivement des hommes.

2- du 10 mai 1940 au 1er septembre 1940 : des "indésirables", essentiellement des femmes originaires d’Allemagne et des pays appartenant au Reich. A leurs côtés, quelques centaines d’hommes internés pour délits d’opinion (communistes, Basques espagnols, etc.). Au total, 14 795 hommes et femmes.

3- du 1er septembre 1940 au 25 août 1944 : les Juifs étrangers. Au total, 18 185 hommes, femmes et enfants internés en raison de l’antisémitisme d’état pratiqué par le régime de Vichy. Ils seront systématiquement déportés vers Auschwitz et exterminés à partir de 1942.

4- du 25 août 1944 au 31 décembre 1945 : les "collabos" et quelques centaines d’antifranquistes espagnols. Au total, 3 370 personnes, exclusivement des hommes.


Pour avoir des renseignements sur les personnes internées au camp, il faut savoir que :

  • toutes les archives du camp antérieures au 28 juin 1940 ont été détruites. Nous n’avons donc aucune liste des personnes correspondant aux périodes 1 et 2 indiquées ci-dessus.
  • toutes les archives du camp postérieures au 28 juin 1940 sont conservées aux Archives départementales des Pyrénées Atlantiques (Cité Administrative - Boulevard Tourrasse - 64000 Pau). Leur écrire pour tout renseignement officiel ([email protected]). Nous sommes donc parfaitement renseignés sur toutes les personnes internées pendant les périodes 3 et 4 indiquées ci-dessus.
  • il existe une liste des basques espagnols, internés au camp en 1939, dans l’ouvrage de Josu Chueca, cité ci-dessous.

I'll let Google translate it for you. But basically, all archives before 28/6/1940 have been destroyed. If your ancestor has been there before 28/6/1940, you only have a tiny chance to find his name on http://gurs.free.fr/liste.html. If it is after this date, you should write to [email protected] and there is a good chance to find something...

  • So got in touch with the archives for Camp de Gurs and only record they have of great-grandfather is a letter from the "Bureau M.A." in Toulouse to see if he was at the camp. Does anyone know what "Bureau M.A." signifies? Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 10:01
  • 1
    @ColeHenley Probably the Bureau des menées antinationales, a military intelligence service of the Vichy regime. Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 18:29

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