Grandpa was an RAF fighter shot down over Nazi-occupied France and was held for four years as a Prisoner of War in a German internment labor camp, the best of the three options if you had to choose. Think North Korea. Other’s were not so relatively lucky. While he was surrounded by hunger and death, the constant rumors that the Vichy Government would hand over Jewish POW’s to the Gestapo were true. Many were transported to a nearby internment camp (Drancy) before being sent to the Third Reich’s concentration camps or extermination camps, mostly in Germany or Poland.
From 1939 to 1945 (from a build up in 1936) on average 10,000 innocent people were killed daily. Families were ripped apart, women and girls were beaten and raped, men and boys were tortured, and many served as guinea pigs in horrendous and grotesque experiments by Nazi doctors. For those not shot, electrocuted, or gassed many died from malnutrition, disease and being worked to death.More