French SIG #France Slave labour camps in North Africa #france

Doug Mason

Dear Siggers,

Please excuse my basic question, but I have been looking at the stories of
the French experience during WW2 for only the past few weeks.

The following is my understanding:

In 1941 (1942 as well?), the Vichy government used interned people to work
on the Trans-Sahara railway.

There were 17 slave labour concentration camps in North Africa: 3 in
Morocco, 3 in Algeria, 7 in Tunisia and 4 in Libya.

On the eve of the American and British invasion of North Africa on 8
November 1942 ("Operation Torch"), some four thousand Jewish prisoners
were being held in camps in the south of Morocco and in Algeria.

On 12 November 1942, a few days after the Allies invaded, the French
troops of the Vichy government went over to the Allies, and an armistice
was concluded.


1. Are there lists giving the names of internees at each of the
slave labour camps?

2. Following the armistice, did these “troops of the Vichy government” or
any of the internees take part in subsequent fighting in North Africa
against the Germans and Italians?

3. What did the internees of the Camps do following the armistice? Did
they continue working on the trans-Sahara railway? Could they return to
Vichy France?

Doug Mason

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