The Vichy deportation camp that is a 'permanent stain' on France


A senior figure in the Socialist Party has angrily criticised French culture minister Aurélie Filippetti for allegedly snubbing Rivesaltes, a former internment and deportation camp in southern France which is set to become a memorial in 2015, during a recent trip to the area. The culture minister has dismissed the claims as 'absurd'. To understand the importance of the memorial site behind this political squabble, Mediapart asked historian Denis Peschanski to describe the political and historical issues at stake in a camp that revives some of the worst memories of the Second World War in France. Antoine Perraud reports.

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Culture minister Aurélie Filippetti has come under fire from her own political allies for allegedly turning down the chance to visit a former internment camp that will soon become a major memorial site. Christian Bourquin, a socialist senator and president of the regional council of Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France, is furious that the minister did not take time to visit the Rivesaltes camp while she attended the 'Visa pour l'image' photojournalism festival in nearby Perpignan earlier this month.