Beaune-la-Rolande is located about eighty kilometres south of Paris, and there the French military established a prisoner-of-war camp in 1939. At that time a war against Germany was a possibility and camps for German prisoners of war were needed. But the rapid German conquest of France in the spring/summer of 1940 meant that the camp became a camp for French prisoners of war instead. These prisoners were then sent to Germany. The camp consisted of 14 barracks surrounded by watchtowers and barbed wire fences. The camp was located in what became Vichy France and was under both French and German control. In addition to Beaune-la-Rolande, there were also the Pithiviers and Jargeu camps within the Loiret district where mainly Pithiviers had the same function as Beaune-la-Rolande. 

In May 1941, the camp became a collection and transit camp for Polish jews seeking refuge in France. French (and other) Jews arrested during raids in France were also imprisoned. In July 1942 about 7,000 Jews were deported to Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande from Velodrome d`iver, Paris. These Jews had been imprisoned in a massive raid against Jews in Paris. At two deportations in 1942, barely 2,000 Jews were deported from the camp to Auschwitz, either directly or via Drancy. On August 17, some 1,500 children, whose parents had already been deported, were deported to Drancy under tragic circumstances. By order of SS-Hauptsturmführer Alois Brunner, the camp was closed in early August 1943.

Current status: Demolished with monument (2014).

Address: Rue de Déportés, 45340 Beaune-la-Rolande.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

In addition to monuments at the former camp site, there is also a memorial plaque at the station from which the Jews were deported. When I visited the station it was closed for traffic.

Follow up in books: Weisberg, Richard H: Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France (1998).