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The routes to exileFrance and the Spanish Civil War refugees, 1939-2009$
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Scott Soo

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086915

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086915.001.0001

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Reception, internment and repatriation, 1939–40

Reception, internment and repatriation, 1939–40

(p.57) 2 Reception, internment and repatriation, 1939–40
The routes to exile

Scott Soo

Manchester University Press

Outlines the reactions of the French authorities, press and public to the refugees’ arrival in France. Although some French nationals reacted with gestures of solidarity, the refugees faced a considerable level of discrimination and pressure to return to Spain. The most visible sign of exclusion existed on the beaches of the French Mediterranean where close to two hundred thousand refugees were penned into sprawling ‘concentration’ camps. The remaining refugees, mostly women, children and the elderly, were housed in reception centres elsewhere in France where conditions were often very basic. Comparisons are drawn between the reductive and scaremongering reporting of the Spanish refugees by much of the French press, and French officials’ descriptions of refugees arriving in their localities. The chapter reveals how French officials mobilised cultural difference in order to secure the exclusion and return of the refugees to Spain.

Keywords:   Spanish republicans, Repatriation, Spanish Civil War, Refugees, Concentration camps, Internment camps

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