Gurs concentration camp: Eyewitness report

Scope and Content

Copy of an eyewitness report by Hedwig Forester of his arrest by the Nazis in Brussels, May 1940, transportation in cattle wagons, and arrival in Gurs concentration camp, France, 2 weeks later.

Administrative / Biographical History

Gurs was a major internment camp in France, near Oloron-Sainte-Marie, 80 kilometers from the Spanish border. Established in 1939 to absorb Republican refugees from Spain, Gurs later served as a concentration camp for Jews from France and refugees from other countries. While under the administration of Vichy France (1940-1942) most non-Jewish prisoners were released and approximately 2000 Jews were permitted to emigrate. In 1941 Gurs held some 15,000 prisoners. The camp was controlled by the Germans from 1942 to 1944, during which time several thousand inmates were deported to extermination camps in Poland. An unknown number succeeded in escaping and reaching Spain or hiding in Southern France. Gurs was liberated in the summer of 1944.



Access Information


Acquisition Information

M. Schneider

Other Finding Aids

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Pages missing

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Geographical Names