Rivesaltes Camp Memorial
Founded in 1938 as a military site, the Rivesaltes camp was quickly transformed into an internment camp. From 1941 onwards, several thousand Spanish Republicans fleeing Franco's dictatorship were confined there. Very quickly, 7,000 Jews and gypsies were also interned there.
Around 2,400 Jewish men, women and children were deported from the Rivesaltes camp to Drancy and then to Auschwitz. They were among the 10,000 Jews in the southern part of the country who were captured by the Vichy government in August 1942.
At the Liberation, the camp is used for the detention of German prisoners of war and collaborators. Twenty years later, at the end of the Algerian war, it served as a transit and reclassification centre for more than 20,000 harkis.
The Rivesaltes camp was officially closed in December 1964.
The Rivesaltes Memorial: a place of remembrance and education
A space of history and memory with an educational and cultural vocation, the Memorial's mission is:
- historical research, the restitution and sharing of this knowledge with the public, in the form of temporary exhibitions, publications, colloquia, conferences, etc.
- pedagogical and educational work in order to disseminate knowledge and raise questions about the themes presented and the relationship between history and memory: guided tours, workshops, educational documents, etc.
- a sensitive and different approach thanks to art and culture that allow us to question history and memory: exhibitions, artist residencies, concerts, film projections, etc.
Two itineraries are proposed: one inside the Memorial, the other in the open air, amid the rebuilt barracks as they were in 1940 and the vestiges of the camp left as it was.
By linking history and memory, testimonies and historical archives, the objective of the visit is to reconstruct the history of the site and the people who were interned there, to explain the causes and mechanisms of their confinement and to bear witness to their living conditions and destinies.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls inaugurated the Memorial of the Rivesaltes camp in the Pyrénées-Orientales on 16 October 2015. The Memorial opened its doors to the public on Wednesday 21 October 2015.
Media kit (pdf. In French)
Speech by Manuel Valls on the occasion of the inauguration of the Memorial (pdf. In French)
The Rivesaltes Memorial project was supported by the Languedoc-Roussillon Region and the Pyrénées-Orientales Department, and supported by the State.
Mémorial du camp de Rivesaltes
Avenue Christian Bourquin
66 600 Salses le Château
Tél : 04.68.08.34.90
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org