“Twenty-nine American Volunteers Arrested in Muret”

June 1, 2024

Peter Verburgh’s translation from the French Newpaper Le Journal about a group of 29 Americans arrested in France.

“29 American Volunteers Arrested in Muret”

Le Journal, 5 April 1937

Toulouse, 4 April- The Control services of the Non-Intervention Committee do not remain inactive, especially with the help of the French Police and Gendarmerie. Thus 29 American volunteers have just been arrested in Muret. Landing in Le Havre these past few days, they pretended to visit France as tourists, while profiting from the Easter Holidays. However, their appearance looked suspicious to the Port Police, and without further ado the Sûreté Nationale was informed, which proceeded to carry out a discreet investigation. They learned that the so-called tourists had the intention of, after a short stay in Paris, to head for Toulouse and cross the Spanish border at Fos (Haute-Garonne) to enlist in the ranks of the Spanish Militia.

Surveillance was immediately put in place, and yesterday we learned in Toulouse that the 29 Americans had arrived by different trains and had asked a transport contractor from Luchon to come and pick them up in Toulouse to take them to the border.

Without wasting time, the prefecture of the Haute-Garonne and the various police authorities of Toulouse took measures to arrest the 29 Americans. Moreover, at the end of the afternoon, the coach entrusted with leading the caravan to the Spanish border, arrived in Toulouse.

The Principal Gendarmerie Brigades along the National Road from Toulouse to the border were immediately alerted. The coach departed from Toulouse after loading the 29 Americans in an eccentric district, and arrived in Muret at 11:35 PM. Immediately, near the Alleé Niel, the two vehicles were forced to stop on the orders of the agents, and the various occupants were caught without luggage, but with passports in order, stamped in Le Havre. All asserted – to have come to France as tourists, and the whole caravan was immediately arrested, while the two vehicles were impounded.