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The forgotten Spanish concentration camp

Discussion in 'Concentration, Death Camps and Crimes Against Huma' started by GRW, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Nice wee article.
    "The history of the concentration camp in Miranda de Ebro began in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. It was one of many concentration camps set up by the national government of General Francisco Franco to intern the Republican prisoners of war, both Spanish and international.
    Soon after the Spanish fratricidal conflict had finished, another war broke out on the European continent. After Germany and the Soviet Union jointly subjugated Poland in September 1939, Hitler’s view turned to the West. The German army quickly defeated France in June 1940. When the French state collapsed, an avalanche of refugees headed to Spain, seeking safe haven from the Nazi persecutions. It was increasingly difficult to obtain the indispensable documents to cross the border legally. As a result, many people resorted to crossing the border in secret through the high peaks of the Pyrenees.
    According to the British ambassador in Spain (1940-1944), Samuel Hoare, around 30-40 thousand refugees fled to Spain illegally during the Second World War. Although Spain was officially a neutral country, fugitives from France could not count on a benign treatment. Some of them managed to transit through the Iberian Peninsula unbothered by the police, but many were detained by the Spanish Civil Guard. On 4 July 1940, the Spanish authorities decided to use the existing settlement in Miranda de Ebro as an internment camp for the men of military age entering the country. Until its closure in 1947, a total of around 15,000 people were interned in this concentration camp. They were citizens of 67 different countries, mainly French, Canadian, British, Belgian and Polish. The Poles represented the second or the third largest national group in the camp."
    A chilly refuge in Spain - Polish History
     

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