Photo Credit: Auguste Chauvin On November 12th 1942, the Germans invaded ‘ la zone libre’ (the unoccupied part of France) and arrived in Perpignan. First the airport was taken over by  a detachment of the…

The poor were starving to death on the streets of Paris. In the royal palace, the king’s breakfast consisted of 4 chops, a full chicken, six poached eggs and a slice of ham, washed down with a bottle and a half of champagne.

Operation Peg was a military operation involving US special forces (OSS) parachuted in to assist the local Maquis, in August 1944. Its mission  was to harass enemy forces by cutting Route Nationale 117, and destroying communication and supply lines in the Carcassonne Gap. It was led by 1st Lieut Grahl H. Weeks and 1st Lieut Paul Swank.

Cultural artefacts have long been targeted by armies as a demonstration of their superiority, dominance and power. The Spanish Civil War and WW2 were no different. Collectors and curators were therefore anxious to protect their cultural heritage.

The shameful camps, over crowded, in-humane, crammed to overflowing with desperate Republicans escaping Franco’s Spain seem an unlikely place for art to flourish. But artists were there as can be seen in the Museum in La Jonquera. And they did not go un-noticed in Perpignan either.

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