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.

In late January/early February 1939 nearly half a million Spanish civilians and soldiers fled to France. The word Retirada (Spanish for Retreat) was adopted by historians to signify this exodus, which was the biggest single influx of refugees ever known in France.

Camp Joffre opened in 1938 and in that first year, changed from housing for the troops to housing for “Undesirables”; refugees from the Spanish Civil War, Jews and Gipsies. So handy for the railway. Destination: Auschwitz, via Drancy.