Camp des Milles

Aix-en-Provence, France

The Camp des Milles was a French internment camp, opened in September 1939, in a former tile factory near the village of Les Milles, part of the commune of Aix-en-Provence. In 2015, the site was chosen by UNESCO as the headquarters for its new Chair of Education for Citizenship, Human Sciences and Shared Memories.

The camp was first used to intern Germans and ex-Austrians living in the Marseille area, and by June 1940, some 3,500 artists and intellectuals were detained there. Between 1941 and 1942 Le Camp des Milles was used as a transit camp for Jews, mainly men. Women were at the Centre Bompard in Marseille, while they waited for their visas and authorisations to emigrate. As emigration became impossible, Les Milles became one of the centres de rassemblement before deportation. About 2,000 of the inmates were shipped off to the Drancy internment camp on the way to Auschwitz. After the war, the site was briefly re-opened in 1946 as a factory.


Since 1993, the sites serves as a World War II memorial. On September 10, 2012, seventy years after the last train left from Les Milles to the Auschwitz concentration camp, the memorial was inaugurated by French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.



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Founded: 1939
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in France

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tomohito Okuda (10 months ago)
We took a guided tour, which I absolutely recommend and believe much better than just walking around. After seeing many other well-made museums of this sort (e.g. Auschwitz), I thought the quality of the museum and accessibility were not bad could be better. If you don't have a car, you can easily get there by bus 4 from Aix-en-Provence but be careful about the way back - the bus station for return is about 10 min away from the museum.
Dylan Filkins (2 years ago)
Definitely worth a visit, especially on a hot summer day. It is a fascinating place to see how history touched this small area. You are able to tour through the entire tile factory with plenty of information about France's role in the war. I particularly loved how blunt they were about the French government not helping. You will go through a well organised path and tour of the factory.
Christiaan Snoek (2 years ago)
Great museum, especially since it's a former tile-factory. If you're looking for a half-day activity, and you are interested in World War II history, this is a must-visit. The museum tries to stimulate the visitor to reflect on what happened during WO2 and apply that to modern times. - There's a bus stop in front of the museum and a large parking lot as well - Museum is very rich in information, there's just so much to read and see - you're guided through the museum/factory with signs. - Audio guides are offered in French and English (€5 per person) - Information in the museum is written in French and English, except for films and audio pieces (just French) - If you'd read and go over everything, be prepared to spend around 3 hours here - Entrance is about €9.50 for adults - There are expositions at the end of the museum, that vary from time to time. - There's a vending machine with ice cold drinks and snacks at the end of the museum - Last but not least: on hot days, the museum is gonna be hot too -> there's no proper air conditioning in most parts of the factory.
Yaz (2 years ago)
I’ve previously visited the Dachau concentration camp in Munich and I was expecting to see sth similar, but what I saw was only the inside of the building. There was no even the beds. I’m disappointed and I paid 11 for entry with the teacher reduction which is so expensive!! However, the lady at the reception was noce and helpful.
Angelo Vassallo (5 years ago)
Also in a leisure trip to Provence is good to take time to learn more about the secondary world war. This space is well made and give you a deep look at the French influence on the deportations.
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