Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
Nazi concentration camps
Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps throughout the territories it controlled before and during the Second World War. The first Nazi camps were erected in Germany in March 1933 after Hitler became Chancellor and his Nazi Party was given control of the police by Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick and Prussian Acting Interior Minister Hermann Göring. Used to hold and torture political opponents and union organizers, the camps held around 45,000 prisoners. In 1933–1939, before the onset of war, most prisoners consisted of German Communists, Social Democrats, Jehovah's Witnesses and persons accused of'asocial' or socially'deviant' behavior by the Germans. Heinrich Himmler's Schutzstaffel took full control of the police and the concentration camps throughout Germany in 1934–35. Himmler expanded the role of the camps to hold so-called "racially undesirable elements", such as Jews, Gypsies/Romanis/Sintis, Poles, disabled people, criminals; the number of people in the camps, which had fallen to 7,500, grew again to 21,000 by the start of World War II and peaked at 715,000 in January 1945.
Beginning in 1934 the concentration camps were administered by the Concentration Camps Inspectorate, which in 1942 was merged into SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt, they were guarded by SS-Totenkopfverbände. Holocaust scholars draw a distinction between concentration camps and extermination camps, which were established by Nazi Germany for the industrial-scale mass murder of Jews in the ghettos by way of gas chambers. Use of the word "concentration" came from the idea of confining people in one place because they belong to a group, considered undesirable in some way; the term itself originated in 1897 when the "reconcentration camps" were set up in Cuba by General Valeriano Weyler. In the past, the U. S. government had used concentration camps against Native Americans and the British had used them during the Second Boer War. Between 1904 and 1908, the Schutztruppe of the Imperial German Army operated concentration camps in German South-West Africa as part of its genocide of the Herero and Namaqua peoples.
The Shark Island Concentration Camp in Lüderitz was the largest camp and the one with the harshest conditions. When the Nazis came to power in Germany, they moved to suppress all real and potential opposition; the general public was intimidated by the arbitrary psychological terror, used by the special courts. During the first years of their existence when these courts "had a strong deterrent effect" against any form of political protest; the first camp in Germany, was founded in March 1933. The press announcement said that "the first concentration camp is to be opened in Dachau with an accommodation for 5,000 people. All Communists and – where necessary – Reichsbanner and Social Democratic functionaries who endanger state security are to be concentrated there, as in the long run it is not possible to keep individual functionaries in the state prisons without overburdening these prisons." Dachau was the first regular concentration camp established by the German coalition government of National Socialist Workers' Party and the Nationalist People's Party.
Heinrich Himmler Chief of Police of Munich described the camp as "the first concentration camp for political prisoners." On 26 June 1933, Himmler appointed Theodor Eicke commandant of Dachau, who in 1934 was appointed the first Inspector of Concentration Camps. In addition, the remaining SA-run camps were taken over by the SS. Dachau served as a model for the other Nazi concentration camps; every community in Germany had members who were taken there. The newspapers continuously reported on "the removal of the enemies of the Reich to concentration camps" making the general population more aware of their presence. There were jingles warning as early as 1935: "Dear God, make me dumb, that I may not come to Dachau."Between 1933 and the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945, more than 3.5 million Germans were forced to spend time in concentration camps and prisons for political reasons, 77,000 Germans were executed for one or another form of resistance by Special Courts, courts-martial, the civil justice system.
Many of these Germans had served in government, the military, or in civil positions, which enabled them to engage in subversion and conspiracy against the Nazis. As a result of the Holocaust, the term "concentration camp" carries many of the connotations of "extermination camp" and is sometimes used synonymously; because of these ominous connotations, the term "concentration camp" itself a euphemism, has been replaced by newer terms such as internment camp, resettlement camp, detention facility, etc. regardless of the actual circumstances of the camp, which can vary a great deal. After September 1939, with the beginning of the Second World War, concentration camps became places where millions of ordinary people were enslaved as part of the war effort starved and killed. During the war, new Nazi concentration camps for "undesirables" spread throughout the continent. According to statistics by the German Ministry of Justice, about 1,200 camps and subcamps were run in countries occupied by Nazi Germany, while the Jewish Virtual Library estimates that the number of Nazi camps was closer to 15,000 in all of occupied Europe and that many of these camps were run for a limited amount of time before they were closed.
Camps were being created near the centers of dense populations focusing on areas with large communities of Jews, Polish intelligentsia, Communists or Romani. Since millio
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
The Romani, colloquially known as Gypsies or Roma, are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, traditionally itinerant, living in Europe and the Americas and originating from the northern Indian subcontinent, from the Rajasthan and Punjab regions of modern-day India. Genetic findings appear to confirm that the Romani "came from a single group that left northwestern India about 1,500 years ago." Genetic research published in the European Journal of Human Genetics "revealed that over 70% of males belong to a single lineage that appears unique to the Roma." They are a dispersed people, but their most concentrated populations are located in Europe Central and Southern Europe. The Romani originated in northern India and arrived in Mid-West Asia and Europe around 1,000 years ago, they have been associated with another Indo-Aryan group, the Dom people: the two groups have been said to have separated from each other or, at least, to share a similar history. The ancestors of both the Romani and the Dom left North India sometime between the 6th and 11th century.
The Romani are known among English-speaking people by the exonym Gypsies, which some people consider pejorative due to its connotations of illegality and irregularity. Since the 19th century, some Romani have migrated to the Americas. There are an estimated one million Roma in the United States. Brazil includes a notable Romani community descended from people deported by the Portuguese Empire during the Portuguese Inquisition. In migrations since the late 19th century, Romani have moved to other countries in South America and to Canada. In February 2016, during the International Roma Conference, the Indian Minister of External Affairs stated that the people of the Roma community were children of India; the conference ended with a recommendation to the Government of India to recognize the Roma community spread across 30 countries as a part of the Indian diaspora. The Romani language is divided into several dialects which together have an estimated number of speakers of more than two million; the total number of Romani people is at least twice as high.
Many Romani are native speakers of the dominant language in their country of residence or of mixed languages combining the dominant language with a dialect of Romani. French bohème, bohémien, from the Kingdom of Bohemia, where they were incorrectly believed to have come from, carrying writs of protection from King Sigismund of Bohemia. French gitan, English gypsy, Spanish gitano, Catalan gitano, Italian gitano, Portuguese cigano, Turkish kipti, all from Greek Αἰγύπτιος Aigýptios "Egyptian", Hungarian fáreónépe from Greek φαραώ pharaó "pharaoh" – referring to their Egyptian provenance. Usage of "gypsy" and derived words differs between groups as some Roma groups use this word as a self-identifier while others consider this word a racial slur. English tzigane, Spanish zíngaro, cíngaro, French tzigane, Old High German zigeuner, German Zigeuner, Dutch zigeuner, Danish sigøjner, Swedish zigenare, Norwegian sigøynere Old Church Slavic ациганинъ atsyganin, Italian zingaro, Romanian țigan, Hungarian cigány, Serbo-Croatian cigan, Albanian cigan, Polish cygan, Czech cikán, Portuguese cigano, Turkish çigan, Azerbaijani çıqan, Slovak cigán or cigáň, Venetian singano, Russian цыгане tsygane, Ukrainian цигани tsyhany, Lithuanian čigonai, Latvian čigāni, Georgian ციგანი.
Due to the negative connotations of referring to an ethnic group as "untouchable" words derived from this source are considered derogatory and outdated by modern Roma peoples. Albanian Jevg, gabel, Magjup Azerbaijani qaraçı Arabic Nawar and Zott. Egyptian Arabic ghager Rom means husband in the Romani language, it has the variants dom and lom, related with the Sanskrit words dam-pati, lom, loman, romaça. Another possible origin is from Sanskrit डोम doma. In the Romani language, Rom is a masculine noun, meaning'man of the Roma ethnic group' or'man, husband', with the plural Roma; the feminine of Rom in the Romani language is Romni. However, in most cases, in other languages Rom is now used for people of both genders. Romani is the feminine adjective; some Romanies use Rom or Roma as an ethnic name, while others do not use this term as a self-ascription for the entire ethnic group. Sometimes and romani are spelled with a double r, i.e. rrom and rromani. In this case rr is used to represent the phoneme /ʀ/, which in some Romani dialects has remained different from the one written with a single r.
The rr spelling is common in certain institutions, or used in certain countries, e.g. Romania, to distinguish from the endonym/homonym for Romanians. In the English language, Rom is a noun and an adje
Seine-Saint-Denis is a French department located in the Île-de-France region. Locally, it is referred to colloquially as quatre-vingt treize or neuf trois, after its official administrative number, 93; the learned and used demonym for the inhabitants is Séquano-Dionysiens. Seine-Saint-Denis is located to the northeast of Paris, it has a surface area of only 236 km², making it one of the smallest departments in France. Seine-Saint-Denis and two other small departments, Hauts-de-Seine and Val-de-Marne, form a ring around Paris, known as the Petite Couronne. Since 1 January 2016, together with Paris, they form the area of Greater Paris. Seine-Saint-Denis is made up of three departmental arrondissements and 40 communes: Seine-Saint-Denis was created in January 1968, through the implementation of a law passed in July 1964, it was formed from the part of the Seine department to the north and north-east of the Paris ring road, together with a small slice taken from Seine-et-Oise. Seine-Saint-Denis has a history as a veritable left-wing stronghold, belonging to the ceinture rouge of Paris.
The French Communist Party has maintained a continued strong presence in the department, still controls the city councils in cities such as Saint-Denis, Montreuil and La Courneuve. Until 2008, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne were the only departments where the Communist Party had a majority in the general councils but the 2008 cantonal elections saw the socialists become the strongest group at the Seine-Saint-Denis general council. A commune of Seine-Saint-Denis, Clichy-sous-Bois, was the scene of the death of two youths which sparked the nationwide riots of autumn 2005. In October and November, 9,000 cars were burned and 3,000 rioters were arrested. In 2018, the department had the highest crime rate in metropolitan France. In 2017, the area was the theatre of 18% of all drug offences in metropolitan France. Seine-Saint-Denis is the French department with the highest proportion of immigrants: 21.7% at the 1999 census. This figure does not include the children of immigrants born on French soil as well as some native elites from former French colonies and people who came from overseas France.
The ratio of ethnic minorities is difficult to estimate as French law prohibits the collection of ethnic data for census taking purposes. In 2005, 56.7% of young people under 18 were of foreign origin including 38% of African origin. In 2018, the poverty rate was twice the national average at 28%, the unemployment rate was 3 percentage above the national average and 4 percentage points above the Île-de-France average at 12.7%. In 2018, it was estimated. Brittany M. Hughes of MRCTV estimates that there are more than 300,000 illegal immigrants in Seine-Saint-Denis. An education study confirmed falling levels of literacy in the area, where the fraction of pupils who had 25 errors or more increased from 5.4% in 1987 to 19.8% in 2015. Bédarida, Catherine. "Seine-Saint-Denis, naissance d'un ghetto". Le Monde. Kefi, Ramses. "Pourquoi toujours le 9-3 ?". L'Obs. Seine-Saint-Denis General Council Prefecture website Seine-Saint-Denis Tourist Board
Drancy internment camp
The Drancy internment camp was an assembly and detention camp for confining Jews who were deported to the extermination camps during the German military administration of Occupied France during World War II. It was located in a northeastern suburb of Paris, France. Between 22 June 1942, 31 July 1944, during its use as an internment camp, 67,400 French and German Jews were deported from the camp in 64 rail transports, which included 6,000 children. Only 1,542 remained alive at the camp when Allied forces liberated it on 17 August 1944. Drancy was under the control of the French police until 1943 when administration was taken over by the SS, who placed officer Alois Brunner in charge of the camp. In 2001, Brunner's case was brought before a French court by Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld, which sentenced Brunner in absentia to a life sentence for crimes against humanity. After the 1940 defeat by Germany and 10 July 1940 vote of full powers to Marshal Philippe Pétain, the Republic was abolished and Vichy France was proclaimed.
The Vichy government cooperated with Nazi Germany, hunting down foreign and French Jews and turning them over to the Gestapo for transport to the Third Reich's extermination camps. The Drancy internment camp became identified by the northeastern suburb of Paris in which it was located, it was conceived by the noted architects Marcel Lods and Eugène Beaudouin as a striking, modernist urban community. The design was noteworthy for its integration of high-rise residential apartment towers, among the first of their kind in France. Poetically named La Cité de la Muette at its creation for its perceived peaceful ideals, the name became twisted with bitterly ironic meaning; the entire complex was confiscated by Nazi authorities not long after the German occupation of France in 1940. It was used first as police barracks converted into the primary detention center in the Paris region for holding Jews and other people labeled as "undesirable" before deportation. On 20 August 1941, French police conducted raids throughout the 11th arrondissement of Paris and arrested more than 4,000 Jews foreign or stateless Jews.
French authorities interned these Jews in Drancy. French police enclosed the barracks and courtyard with barbed-wire fencing and provided guards for the camp. Drancy fell under the command of the Gestapo Office of Jewish Affairs in France and German SS Captain Theodor Dannecker. Five subcamps of Drancy were located throughout Paris. Following the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup on 16 and 17 July 1942, more than 4,900 of the 13,152 victims of the mass arrest were sent directly to the camp at Drancy before their deportation to Auschwitz. Drancy was under the control of the French police until 3 July 1943 when Germany took direct control of the Drancy camp. SS officer Alois Brunner became camp commandant as part of the major stepping up at all facilities needed for mass extermination; the French police carried out additional roundups of Jews throughout the war. Some Drancy inmates died as hostage pawns. In December 1941, 40 prisoners from Drancy were executed in retaliation for a French attack on German police officers.
In November 1943 around 350 inmates of the Borgo San Dalmazzo concentration camp in Italy were deported by train to Drancy and, soon after, on to Auschwitz. The inmates from Borgo, Jewish refugees from a number of European countries, had been arrested after the Italian surrender in September 1943, having come to Italy from France in search for safety from Nazi prosecution; the Drancy camp was designed to hold 700 people, but at its peak held more than 7,000. There is documented evidence and testimony recounting the brutality of the French guards in Drancy and the harsh conditions imposed on the inmates. For example, upon their arrival, small children were separated from their parents for deportation to the death camps. On 6 April 1944, SS First Lieutenant Klaus Barbie raided a children's home in Izieu, where Jewish children had been hidden. Barbie arrested all 44 children and 7 adult staff members; the next day, the Gestapo transported the arrestees to Drancy. From there, all the children and staff were deported to Auschwitz.
None of them survived. Many French Jewish intellectuals and artists were held in Drancy, including Max Jacob, Tristan Bernard, the choreographer René Blum. Of the 75,000 Jews whom French and German authorities deported from France, more than 67,000 were sent directly from Drancy to Auschwitz. Dutch painter Max van Dam, captured in France en route to Switzerland, was incarcerated in Drancy where he was able to paint and create print work, he was among the 1008 deportees on Transport 53 which left Drancy, on 25 March 1943, with the final destination of Sobibor. Van Dam was spared upon arrival and survived for six months painting for the SS but was killed in September 1943. There were many non-French Jews captured in France and deported to Drancy to await final deportation to Auschwitz and other death camps, they included the noted German artist Charlotte Salomon, who had lived in the south of France after fleeing from the nazis in Germany. By September 1943, Charlotte Salomon had married Alexander Nagler.
The two of them were transported by rail from Nice to Drancy. By now, Charlotte Salomon was five months pregnant, she was transported to Auschwitz on 7 October 1943 and was gassed on the same day that she arrived there. As the Allies were approaching Paris in August 1944, the German officers fled, the camp was liberated on 17 August when control of the camp was given over to the French Resistance and Swedish diplomat