Marseille Old Harbour

The Area around the old harbour of Marseille (Vieux port) was considered by the Germans to be a dangerous area. Its narrow and crooked streets were considered a perfect haunt for criminal elements (including Jews) that thus posed a threat to the Germans. From the German side this had to be resolved and therefore Himmler sent down SS Brigadeführer Carl Oberg from Paris to Marseille in January 1943. Oberg was the chief SS and Police leader in France and once down in Marseille he organized together with Rene Bousquet, the French police chief, a massive raid in the harbour. The main purpose was to arrest Jews who were in hiding and between 22 – 24 January the identity of about 40,000 people was verified. About 2000 Jews were identified and first to sent to camp Frejus, then to camp Royallieu in Compiegne and finally Drancy outside Paris. From Drancy. From Drancy they were deported to an uncertain future in Eastern Europe. The Raid was a collaboration between the german and french police and carried out from house to house, street to street. After the raid, the Germans blew up about 1,500 houses around the harbour, the remaining 30,000 inhabitants were expelled.

Current status: Rebuilt with museum (2012).

Location: 43°17'44.00" N 05°21'45.46" E

Get there: Metro to Vieux-Port Station.

My comment:

In 2012, the entire area has been rebuilt and is characterized by great commercialism and tourism.

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