Several headstones in the cemetery of Noé (Haute-Garonne) have been defaced since Saturday, without any particular inscription. The cemetery of Noé hosts, among others, the graves of several Jewish and Spanish people who died in the internment camp of the village in the years 1930-40.
The prefect of Haute-Garonne expressed his dismay in a statement on Wednesday and called for the utmost firmness in the investigation of this case of vandalism. The cemetery of Noé has a strong memorial significance. The Volvestre commune, 30 kilometres south of Toulouse, was the site of an internment camp during the Second World War, as was Portet-sur-Garonne.
Since Saturday night, four Christian and two Jewish headstones have been defaced. An investigation has been opened by the gendarmerie. The headstones do not bear any particular inscription.
Starting from 1941, more than 3,000 people were rounded in the internment camp of Noé. The prisoners were initially refugees from the Spanish war and then Jews who were victims of persecution by the Vichy regime. About 300 people died in the Noé camp, some of whom were buried in the cemetery of the village, which had less than a thousand inhabitants at the time.