HISTOLAB Gurs Project
Encounter and remembrance

In the foothills of the western Pyrenees, on the French side, lies the Gurs Camp. It was established in the spring of 1939 for Spanish civil war refugees and was one of the largest French internment camps. After the outbreak of war with Germany, the French government interned „enemy foreign citizens“ there, including Germans who had come to French exile fleeing the Nazi regime.

In 1940, the Vichy regime housed over 6,500 Germans of Jewish faith from Baden and the „Saarpfalz“ there after they had been deported from their homeland by German authorities to the unoccupied zone of France. The deportation of Jewish internees from Gurs to the death camps began in August 1942, before the German occupation of the Free Zone of France.

Students of the NGL participated for the first time in September 2021 in an encounter and remembrance project (a report in German can be viewed here) created by the Förderverein deutsch-französischer Kultur Stuttgart. In May/June 2022, the continuation of the project (report in German) took place in southern France. At the beginning of the school year 2022/23, the project group continued its work in Darmstadt and Frankfurt (report in German).

The Feuerbach „Gurs Camp Project Group“ is part of a collaboration with students from Darmstadt’s Lichtenbergschule, Tübingen’s Kepler Gymnasium and the French Lycées Jules Supervielle (Oloron-Sainte-Marie) and Louis Barthou (Pau). NGL students who would like to be part of the project group can find information and register for the students‘ club „Gurs Camp Project“ in the Moodle course room. Go to the Moodle course room here.

Projects we are working on:

  • Subtitling of the documentary „Journal de Gurs. How we want to remember„: During the Franco-German youth encounter in May/June 2022, filmmaker Anatoli Skatchkov, Frankfurt, assisted in directing by Margit Sachse, Lichtenbergschule Darmstadt, captured important aspects and the atmosphere of the days. Students of the NGL have collaborated in the subtitling of the film, so that it can now be viewed by a wider European public with German, French and English subtitles.
  • Visit to the city archive of Stuttgart: The goal was to research Stuttgart citizens who were deported during World War II. Click here for the article about it.
  • Further development of Footprints for Freedom: The online platform developed by students at Lichtenbergschule Gymnasium (LuO) and TU Darmstadt enables local cultures of remembrance and individual biographical stories to be made visible and shared. The aim is to make young people aware of the importance of history and promote democracy in a participatory way. In April 2024, this project was awarded the European HISTOLAB award. Click here for the browser version or the app version (IOS).

Contact persons: Emilia Lenz, Vincent Raißle, Michael Rüdel

DE Deutsche Fassung EN English Version ES Versión española FR Version française

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