Re: Maisons-Laffitte internment camp #france

Bernard Flam

Hi from Paris,

Dear Paul,


My GGF and GF were Galizianer, immigrating with an Austrian citizenship to France in 1925.

Thus they have been submitted to these laws concerning German & Austrian citizens as soon WWII started in September 1939.

I had never heard neither read about Maisons-Laffitte camp before your post.


But I knew what happened to my family's men, my GGF, his 2 sons and my GF as son-in-law.

They have been interned in a small camp in Paris, called "Stade Buffalo" (because Buffalo Bill presented his cow-boy show there) during a few days or weeks.

Then they have been transported to a larger camp, Meslay du Maine, where they were detained during ca. two months, before 1939 end.

Detention conditions were fair, according to their testimonies and I have some pictures taken by them.

Remember that during this period, it was still "phoney war", blitzkrieg started in April 1940.


In these camps, Austrian / German Jews could quite easily make choice to enroll French "Foreign Legion" or some GTE, Groupe de travailleurs étrangers, foreign workers group, to replace at work young French citizens who have been mandatory enrolled due to national mobilization.


Most of these has been sent to North Africa French territories (Full French Department as Algeria, Protectorat as Marocco and Tunisia) as not being in situation to fight directly nazis soldiers.


After French surrender and occupation of northern part of country, these Legionnaires have been discharged in southern and not occupied part of France.


Some stayed there, some returned to Paris.


The fact of being former French Legionnaire didn't prevent any of them to suffer risk of deportation as any others Jews in France. A lot have been killed.

Fortunately, all mine survived.


Back to your question.


With a quest on French Google "Maisons Laffitte camp internement 1939", I found 4 - 5 good references.

I attach one, but how is your French ? I know, nobody is perfect...


It seems that like "Stade Bufalo", Maisons-Laffitte camp had been used for a short while because it was not far from Paris, before transferring detainees to larger camps in France.


At this moment, I guess we can get some data on the camp but I am not sure names lists could be archived. I check.



Bernard Flam

Archives & history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring ( Bund-Workmen Circle of France)


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