This transit camp near Toulouse was set up after the beginning of the Phony War (the war between France and Germany from September 1939 to June 1943). It was to house "individuals representing a danger to national security" - mostly militant communists. In June 1940, with the first German attacks on the Soviet Union, people with Russian citizenship were interned there. Later, foreign Jews who had been living in hiding in the South of France and were rounded up in the summer of 1942 were also sent to the camp.
The inmates, especially the communists, organized many cultural activities, a "little university," in which each one contributed their knowledge for the collective good. From the summer of 1942 to the closing of the camp in August 1944, most of its inmates were deported to the East, to Auschwitz and Buchenwald.
(Dr Pnina Rosenberg)