France’s First Concentration Camp Will Be Site of New Museum
Nazi officials used France’s rail system to transport Jews to their death.
In 1941 Nazi-occupied France, Smithsonian Magazine reports 16,000 Jews were detained at Pithiviers concentration camp, and the neighboring Beaune-la-Rolande, before they were sent on to death camps like Auschwitz.
Today, the country is making moves to remember the horrors that happened there. SNCF, the country’s national rail company, is designating $2.3 million to the construction of a new museum at the Pithiviers rail station. Working in tandem with CRIF, a French Jewish community group, SNCF will help return the rail station to its historically accurate wartime appearance.
Set to open in 2020, the museum will showcase educational materials, an exhibition center and study rooms for visitors. Smithsonian calls it “an important site of remembrance for French Holocaust history.”
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