The documentary described below, now finished, will be screened on Thursday 17th December on Catalan channel TV3 at 23h05
[(Argelès concentration camp)]
A moving documentary of the ‘concentration camp’ hastily set up on the beaches of Argelès in 1939 for the thousands of refugees from the Spanish Civil War, is being filmed at present, and until Friday 20th February 2009 on a part of the beach itself. This historical reconstruction, entitled ‘Camp d’Argelers’, has been arranged by Télévision de Catalogne and is expected to go out on TV3 and France 3 this year. Surrounded by barbed wires, without huts, toilets, kitchen or any medical facility, this camp was one of the great ‘hontes’ of the people of Argelès, who allowed 465.000 people to be kept in such terrible conditions between 1939 and 1941.
Hungarian photojournalist and war photographer, Robert Capa, descibed the Argelès camp as “a hell on sand”
The 50 hectares of beach, ‘home’ to thousands of refugees, was set up by the French democrataic state. Originally classed as a “camp de concentration”, but over the years, called “camp d’internement”, “camp de transit”, or just a “camp”, because it sounds so much more acceptable, the documentary producer describes conditions as “extrêmes et inhumaines”.
The filming of the reconstruction of the camp will be interspersed with images filmed secretly inside the actual camp, and witness statements.