Mayenne is a department in northwestern France, the name of the river, flowing e.g. through Laval, as well as the name of the commune and city of Mayenne, which houses the museum-memorial described in this post.
In the department of Mayenne, there were at least several quarries and at least two internment camps, Grez-en-Bouere and Montsûrs, which provided labour force for the quarry. Gypsies were among the prisoners in both camps. I found no information on the number of Roma imprisoned in the camps, however, 540 prisoners from Mayenne were deported to concentration camps – primarily to Auschwitz. 3% of them survived. How many Gypsies were among them? We do not know.
Description of commemoration
The memorial dedicated to people deported from Mayenne is not available to visitors every day. We were unable to get inside as the staff does not live on site, which makes contacting them difficult. It is known, however, that the museum is open between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday and on the first Sunday of the month.
Unfortunately, we were also unable to find out whether specific information about the deported Gypsies could be found on the memorial site. Probably one can only find their names on the Wall of Memory (Wall of Names) among the names of other deportees. It is excellent that Gypsies have not been included into a separate category of deportees, however, one must know the names of Gypsies from these areas to find them in the general list.
Talking to Jocelyne Doumeau, president of the Mayenne association, responsible for the Montsûrs-Mayene memorial site, we learned that Gypsies are not treated separately at the exhibition, but one can find information about individual people of Gypsy origin – if we know what to look for.
It is worth paying attention to the sculpture / artistic construction, which is placed on the outer wall of the Museum / Memorial (close to the Ambroise de Loré street, i.e. the N12 road) and depicts the faces / skulls of the victims (the deportees?). Created from stone slates by Séverine Raulet, he installation, called the mural, probably only because it was placed on the outer facade of the museum-memorial.
Mémorial des Déportés de la Mayenne – 23 Rue Ambroise de Loré, 53100 Mayenne, www.memorial-des-deportes-mayenne.fr
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List of camps for the Gypsies in France: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_des_camps_d%27internement_de_%C2%AB_nomades_%C2%BB_en_France