GURS

  • Internment Camp in France, 1939-1945
  • One of the first and largest camps in prewar France
  • Was originally a detention camp for political refugees
  • Overcrowded with shortage of water, food and clothes
  • 800 detainees died of contagious diseases
  • 7,500 Jews deported into France, most sent to Gurs
  • In 1940 about 1,710 released, 755 escaped, 1,940 emigrated, 2,820 conscripted into labor battalions
  • While open, over 22,000 prisoners passed through, with 18,000 of them were Jews

ROLF'S EXPERIENCE

In October of 1940, he was taken to the internment camp and separated from his mother and grandfather. In February of 1941 he, along with 47 other boys, were rescued and taken to Aspet.

Ghettos

Ghettos were created at the start of World War II as Jewish cities and dwellings (temporary housing developments.) The Jewish population was forced to live under miserable conditions. Germans used ghettos as a way of segregating the Jews until they knew exactly how they wanted to systematically exterminate the Jewish population known as the Final Solution.

Forced Labor Camps

The establishment of forced labor camps was due to labor shortages in the German war economy. This led to the increased use of prisoners as forced laborers and establishment of hundreds of camps in or near industrial plants. In labor camps Jews were subject to brutal and harsh conditions, starvation, and beatings sometimes even worked to the death.

Death March

The forced transport of prisoners in Nazi Germany. These took place at various points throughout the holocaust to move evidence of concentration camps away from the Allied forces. Many prisoners died on these marches due to hunger, starvation, and illnesses.

Death Camp

A.K.A. “Extermination Camp”. These camps were developed by the Nazis and were primarily used for killing millions of prisoners during WWII. There were multiple systems put into place to conduct the mass genocide including gas chambers with carbon monoxide, crematoriums with massive ovens to burn the bodies, and they also conducted shooting lines where prisoners would line up and be shot by guards.

The Holocaust

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of millions of Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators during World War II. Germans believed they were "racially superior race" and that Jews, were "inferior." Other groups affected by the Holocaust were: Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals.

World War II

A war between the Axis (Germany, Italy, and Japan) and the Allies ( Britain, the Soviet Union, and the US), beginning on September 1, 1939, with the Hitler and German invasion of Poland and ending with the surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945, and of Japan on August 14, 1945.

Jew

A member of the people and whose traditional religion is Judaism. They trace their origins through the ancient Hebrew people of Israel to Abraham. Religion is extremely important in their cultural beliefs and practices.