This list gathers sites located in Seine-Saint-Denis which played a major role in persecution and repression politics put in place by the Nazis with the help of the Régime de Vichy, between 1940 and 1944.
It is in Drancy, at Cité de la Muette, that the majority of the 74,000 Jews deported to Polish concentration camps were confined between spring 1941 and summer 1944.
The Bourget and Bobigny train stations took part in this collapse called ‘final solution’. Between March 1942 and August 1944, 74 trains left the French territory from these train stations and less than 5,000 deportees came back.
Two camps (Royallieu in Compiègne and Fort de Romainville in Les Lilas) and one prison in the Paris region (Fresnes) were the three most important places in France detaining victims from the repression (mainly members of the resistance).
Fort Romainville is the first camp settled by German authorities in the occupied Northern area of France which was first an internment center for administrative detention of immigrants opposed to the Nazis. From 1942, this place became a “hostage center” for persons who will be executed at Fort Mont-Valérien. From 1943, women were deported to Ravensbruck camp from Fort Romainville. In spring and August in 1944, some of them left France from the quai aux bestiaux in Pantin. The last deportation trains in the Parisian region left from this train station on August 15th, 1944.
The Seine-Saint-Denis department gathers major emblematic sites from persecution and repression during the Second World War.
The Compiègne-Royallieu camp, located in the Oise department (less than 100 km - 62 miles from Paris), became from 1941 the major internment camp for Jews and communists hostages (called “judéo-bolchéviques” – Jewish Bolshevism) and deported members of the resistance, all victims of an important respression. A major part of the resistance fighters left for concentration camps from this place.
From 1943, the Fresnes prison mainly hosted important inmates of the Gestapo. Almost 65,000 persons were deported from the Northern and Southern areas of France (without taking the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Alsace-Moselle departments into account) and about 40% of them came back.
A lot of survivors landed at the Bourget airport in 1945. Before Drancy became the internment camp for Jews in France in August 1941, this site was working in relation with Fort Romainville, especially for the detention of civilian immigrants from enemy parties, mostly British.
From June 1940, the Swiss barracks in Saint-Denis served as an internment center for foreign civilian immigrants.
Extract from "Valorisation et mise en réseau des lieux de mémoire de l'internement et de la déportation en Seine-Seine-Denis." realized by Topographie de la mémoire (Anne Bourgon, Hermine de Saint-Albin et Thomas Fontaine).