About The Camp
The Drancy camp is important to French historical memory, for it is the place to which the majority of the Jews deported from France were sent just before being loaded into trains bound for the extermination camps of Auschwitz and Maïdanek-Sobibor. Today the "Cité de la muette" at Drancy still looks much the same as it did during the occupation. First intended as a low-rent housing complex in the 1930s, it was converted into an internment camp for political prisoners even before the war. It then became a convenient staging place for the roundup and deportations of Jews to the East, something that began as early as 1941 and grew to large numbers with the massive roundups of July 1942. Drancy today has been reconverted to its original purpose - an apartment complex. The same buildings that were used as makeshift shelters for thousands of children and adults are now inhabited by working-class renters. All the same, several memorials at Drancy attest to the ongoing controversy about the complicity of the French themselves in the roundups and deportations (see Drancy today).