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"Prison guards at reunion island prison, circa 1930s?" Topic

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Makhno191806 Nov 2020 7:05 a.m. PST

This question seems like a stretch…
The French guards at the prison on Reunion Island in the 1930s, anyone know what uniforms they would wear? Abd al Krim, leader of the Rifs during the Rif wars, was held there. During the Spanish Civil War the CNT militants considered rescuing him from jail, bringing him back to Morocco to start a 2nd front against Franco… i have a historic fiction scenario in mind. Any help or leads would be appreciated.

Personal logo PaulCollins Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2020 7:17 a.m. PST

I don't know if this will help, but Brigade games has French police and Devil's Island-like prisoners in their Ends of the Earth line.

Acronim06 Nov 2020 1:13 p.m. PST


A lot of historic information, pictures and drawings.

Lilian08 Nov 2020 12:10 p.m. PST

…but where do you have seen he was in jail…

yes he was in jail 2 months in Morocco

as it happened to many "prisoners" of that kind in the History he was only "exiled" to La Réunion under house arrest in a beautiful colonial bourgeoisie house called Château Morange then in 1929 he moved to his own new property…

Makhno191808 Nov 2020 4:53 p.m. PST

Ahhh thanks Lillian. Rereading the line, from Abel Paz's Durruti in the Spanish Revolution page 518, "Toward that end, Pierre Besnard advanced a detailed plan for inciting a rebellion among the Moroccan tribes (in the Spanish Protectorate), beginning with the escape of Abd el-Krim, whom the French had banished to Reunion Island in 1926". It does not say imprisoned. I was wondering why I was having such trouble locating history about the prison. It's starting to sound more like a kidnapping then a rescue mission ;-). Lillian may I ask if you could point me to some sources for Abd el Krim's time in exile?
Paul Collins and Acronim, thanks for the links! I found some good photos and drawings. I imagine there would be guards keeping an eye on el Krim anyway.

Richard Baber09 Nov 2020 9:32 a.m. PST

Everyone beat me too it, El Krim and his entire family lived a very comfortable life on Reunion.

You need to read Rupert Furneaux`s account of the man`s life, Woolman`s is also pretty good, but ends at the end of the war. If you can get a copy Vincent Sheean`s book is great too as he met and interviewed the Brothers el Krim during the war.

el Krim himself claimed he was approached by German agents at the start of WW2 too offering him release in return for stirring up the tribes against the French.

He of course was finally released but jumped ship in Egypt and refused to return to morocco until the French left, but died there. I was lucky enough to be allowed to visit his tomb in Cario (20 or so yrs ago now).

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