50 children from the OSE homes and educational services and their educators visited the Camp des Milles memorial site last October. Located a few kilometers from Aix-en-Provence, this internment camp where 10 000 people, most of whom foreigners fleeing the Nazism and Jews, were interned, and from which 2000 of them were deported during the summer of 1942.
This trip was part of a partnership initiated in 2015 following the terrorist attacks in January between OSE and the Camp des Milles Foundation. For OSE, the purpose is to educate the French youth from many cultures and origin to citizenship and to learn to live together; the main message from the Camp des Milles is that “doing nothing is letting it happen”.
On this basis, the establishment of the partnership was marked by several stages:
The visit of OSE educational management, then that of the educational staff; then, the first visit of 35 children in 2016 and. A year later 50 other children and staff members went on this educational trip.
These new visitors began by discovering the permanent exhibition “Save the Children, 1938-1945”, realized by OSE and which introduces the museum path of the Camp des Milles. The day at the Memorial continued with a pedagogical workshop entitled “Me, Racist? “.
This painting was made by a child from the Saint-Germain children home, echoing an exhibition from the Camp des Milles “Drawing to Resist”.
This great initiative will be renewed so that more young people accompanied by OSE members can visit this so unique memorial in France, where OSE was active from 1941 to help the internees to obtain the administrative papers and take the children out of the camp.