Seventy years after the release of the last Gypsies interned in France, a national tribute is made this Saturday morning on the former concentration camp of Montreuil-Bellay. François Hollande has arrived, this morning (Saturday, in this town of the Maine-et-Loire, to pay a tribute very expected to Gypsies interned by the Vichy regime and until 1946.
“The spirit of this trip is to pay tribute to all these men, these women and children, Gypsies interned by the Vichy government in 1940 and in 1946, in the aftermath of the Second world War”, had explained the Elysée.
official Recognition of their suffering
Seventy years after the release of the last Gypsies interned in France, their descendants and the associations expect an official acknowledgment of their suffering.
François Hollande, has been provided to the Elysee, “also will return on the current discussion in the Parliament in the framework of the law ‘on Equality and citizenship’, (mp PS) Dominique Raimbourg having proposed the repeal of the 1969 act which had created a booklet for the movement of people on the journey.”
Of the former internees at the ceremony
according to the presidency, the visit “is part of the work of memory that the head of State has committed since the beginning of his five-year term to reconcile all of the memories and form a single one, that of France”.
in Addition to the head of State, members of government, elected officials, and representatives of associations, a dozen former internees in Montreuil-Bellay attend the ceremony.
The largest of the 31 camps run by the Vichy
Montreuil-Bellay was the largest of the 31 camps run by the French authorities until 1946, in which were confined between 6000 and 6500 nomads. More than 2000 nomads, Gypsies but also of the homeless of Nantes, there were internees from November 1941 to January 1945. A hundred there perished.
The State had taken a first step towards the recognition of the participation of France in this internment family in July 2010, by the voice of the former secretary of veterans affairs, Hubert Falco, speaking at a “national Day of memory of victims of racist crimes and anti-semitism of the French State”.
READ more >> court records and police of the Vichy regime open to the public