Jump to content
WRANGEL

WHO ARE THE "INTERNE DE St DENIS 1940 1941" ? CANADIAN BADGE

Recommended Posts

Hello everybody,

Can anyone help me resolved this mystery ? I have this canadian badge but I have not been able so far to discover what it referes to.

An "interne" is a prisoner, but where (there is a St Denis town outside of Paris, but I am pretty sure there must be also at least one town of this name in Canada), and why where this guys made prisoners in 1940-1941? Is it political?

So if anyone had a clue, I would greatly appreciate.

Cheers

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St Denis was an Ilag (Internierunslager) and wasn't in Canada, it was in France near Paris. It was opened in June 1940 and used to detain enemy civilians captured in German occupied territories. It housed civilians from the USA and all British Commonwealth countries. It was liberated by the Americans in August 1944.

Edited by TacHel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi TacHel,

Thanks for the reply. Ok, your right about this camp being on the outskirt of Paris.

This camp was a "Centre de Rassemblement des Etrangers" and a great number of captured British soldiers where sent there (and Canadian soldiers as well). I have seen only 2 or 3 of these badges (they are quite rare), they had all the same years 1940-1941, it surprises me a bit because I think that it should have been 1940-1944 (the prisonners were not freed before 1944 and the allied invasion as far as I know. Do you have an idea why these dates 1940-1941 ?

Best regards

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Camp de rassemblement" it pretty much self explanatory, it was also called a "camp de transition", grosso modo, temporary. One can find many links on the web of civilians and soldiers spending from a few weeks to a few years there before being sent to another camp, even to death camps. My guess is the bearer of this badge was transferred somewhere else in 41 or early 42.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi TacHel,

"Camp de Rassemblement des Etrangers" must not be confused with "Camp de Transition". Some CRE were created prior to WWII for Spanish refugees (of the Spanish civil war), or even German and Austrian suspects (the fifth column).

During WWII you would find in the CRE: Spanish refugees, Germans or Austrians who had fleed the Reich, captured allied soldiers, gypsies, apatrids, anti-fascist Italians... Detainees were supposed to stay in these camps, unless they would behave badly (escape, rebellion...) or for other superior reasons.

In the Camps de transition the detainees were held for a limited amount of time before being sent to another camp (that is to say mainly to the concentration camps in Germany), this camps were for Jews but also for prisonners of war who had tried to escape or rebelled, political prisonners, homosexuals, law-breakers, gypsies, asocials, Jehova's Witnesses and religious free-thinkers, and so on... Le Camp des Mille, Drancy, Gurs, Pithiviers, Beaune-la-Rolande, Royallieu...are the most well known Camps de transition.

Cheers

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Understood, and agreed... But call it what you will, the info I found on Saint-Denis clearly indicates multiple military and civilian transfers in and out over 4 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are right about multiple transfers from this camp to others, but as I said this was not the purpose of a "Camp de Rassemblement des Etrangers".

Many thanks for chatting with me on this subject.

Best regards.

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...