VIDEO – François Hollande will move Saturday to Montreuil-Bellay in the Maine-et-Loire in what was the largest internment camp of Gypsies from France. It should recognize the responsibility of the French State in this tragedy.
for more than thirty years ago, the Gypsies of France are waiting for this recognition. On Saturday, François Hollande, will travel to Montreuil-Bellay in the Maine-et-Loire, on the occasion of a national ceremony of remembrance held on the remains of an internment camp of Gypsies, dating from the Second world War, according to an information of RTL. This displacement of the head of State, confirmed by the Elysée palace in Figaro, will symbolize the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the last Gypsies in 1946. “I recognize the responsibility of France in the internment of people of the trip. [...] A country is still growing and when it recognizes its mistakes,” should tell the president of the Republic according to the radio.
François Hollande, who is expected to be the first president to acknowledge that the internment, ” will inaugurate a memorial stone memorial on the spot. For Eugène-Alain Daumas, president of the French Union of Gypsy Associations (UFAT), it is the culmination of several years of activism. “We had a lot of difficulties to make this commemoration be forgotten. It should all the time be remembered in the speeches that our history was an integral part of the history of France”, he explains in Figaro before highlighting “the courage of François Hollande,” in which he promises to “say thank you”.
After working nearly forty years on the subject, Jacques Sigot, a teacher-local historian, considers that the recognition is “something extraordinary”. “Since they announced the arrival of François Hollande, they have it all restored so that the site has long been in a state of wild,” he continued. He said he was “very happy that the site is finally” rescued”, where “29 people, mostly babies and old men are dead”.
Classified as a historic monument in 2012 and is regarded as the largest camp of internment of Gypsies in France (4,000 people there are in the past), the site of Montreuil-Bellay, in which nothing remains of the remains, is highly symbolic. It shows the conditions of processing drama endured by these people between 1940 and 1946. In fact, while they suspected the nomads of being spies, the nazis had established several internment camps throughout the territory to confine them. “Between insanitary conditions, malnutrition and disease, the conditions were dismal,” says Eugène-Alain Daumas. The Vichy government was in charge of the management of these camps and thus has been extensively involved in the internment of Gypsies. As a French law of 1912 ordered already the pointing of the “nomads”. Finally, proof that The French State was heavily involved: the last of the Gypsies will not be released until 1946, nearly two years after the Release.
This recognition is a first step for the nomadic population, whose memory has long been obscured. For years, she has kept these memories buried, hiding its children, before the word is available to you. Now, the travellers have been fighting for the total repeal of the act of 1969 which established the “livret de circulation”, forcing its holders to present themselves at a police station every three months to indicate where they are located, and the deletion of which has only been passed in 2015 by the national Assembly, after complaint to the UN. “We are waiting for the order now. For us it is still current. It still happens that we are asked to the book so that it is no longer mandatory. This is stupid,” says Eugène-Alain Daumas. The law should be repealed in full in January next year “for people to travel, to be finally citizens like any other”, according to RTL that reports about that should take François Hollande in Montreuil-Bella y.
Holland will visit a CAO
In the wake of the commemoration of the camp of Montreuil-Bellay, the head of State will visit a few kilometers away in the center of welcome and orientation (CAO) of Doué-la-Fontaine, where he was to exchange with the migrants of Calais, arrived this week in the center, and the actors in the associative sector that accompany them. It is expected to give a speech at mid-day.