Camp Joffre: “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einstein

La belle France. Yet even the most beautiful of gardens has both thorns and weeds. The group Eurocultures invited me to visit Camp Rivesaltes otherwise known as Camp Joffre where we would visit a memorial to some of its darker past. A very short distance from the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean, and just the other side of the tracks, lies the remnants of a concentration camp.

For over five years I have tried to share with you some of the beauty in my chosen home. However, this scar must not be glossed over nor forgotten.

 

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Dedication of museum by Manuel Valls 2015
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Inside the new museum

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Reisepass

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La Fuente Family

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A starving child 1941
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Tools?

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Belongs confiscated along with hopes and dreams…

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Testimony to man’s inhumanity to man.

Though the walls are crumbling and little remains of the buildings, many artifacts are carefully preserved in the new climate protected museum.

Rivesaltes Internment Camp – Camp Joffre opened in 1938 and was not to close its doors until 1970. For nearly five years, I have shared with you the beauty, serenity and the joy of La belle France. Yet this beautiful Country has had much pain, cruelty and suffering inflicted on it and its people. Many of those coming through this camp did not originate in France but may have spent their final days here.

 

Bisous,

Lea

 

fear is not an option

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will and always so when it violates the rights of individuals.”                                      – Thomas Jefferson

Virtue has a veil, vice a mask.” – Victor Hugo

I say I am stronger than fear.” – Malala Yousafzai

fear is not an option

le journal

the internet

telematin

France 24

the word floods

all forms of media

as the body count

rises in Paris

islamic states

(i refuse to capitalize hatred)

declared war on France

i set down the paper

address my laptop

john lennon’s haunting strains

filling my head

nous ne nous rendrons pas

our media is not stuck in

shock and awe mode

nous sommes unis

on with life

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

unlike terrorist

skulking about the city

hiding behind masks,

headcoverings, disguises

nous ne nous cachons pas

we take to the streets

le café

le theatré

all life is calling

VIVA LA PARIS

et

VIVA LA FRANCE

bisous,

lea