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Philip Morris Cigarette Camp

Rue du Camp Philip Morris 76700 GONFREVILLE-L'ORCHER / Vallée de Seine

In Le Havre and its surrounding area, no one has forgotten the temporary housing camps where many families carried on with their lives although the bombings of World War II had destroyed their houses. But before housing families, these camps, also called "cigarette camps" had a completely different purpose.

These wooden prefabricated buildings, sent by the American army and assembled on site, have accommodated thousands of American G.I.s on their way home to the United States at the end of the war. The camp on the plateau in Gonfreville-Orcher was one of the biggest camps for the repatriation of American troops. Called the "Philip Morris Camp", it could accommodate up to 35,000 soldiers at the same time. One of the barracks has been restored to immerse visitors in the atmosphere of these famous cigarette camps.

Once the soldiers were gone, these barracks housed some 4,000 families who had lost their houses during the bombings. Offering a true glimpse into pieces of life during this transition period of the reconstruction of the city of Le Havre and its surrounding area, these temporary barracks were inhabited until the 1970s. The town and the Gonfreville Association of Temporary Housing (AGCP) have also restored a second barrack in order to keep alive the memory of this period of local history.

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