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Vittel

 

Vittel is a French commune located in the Vosges department in the Grand Est region, known worldwide for its mineral water. Its inhabitants are called the Vittellois (es).

 

History
Vittel was divided into two sections by the Petit Vair. On the left bank was the Grand-Ban and on the right bank, the Petit-Ban, to the Duke of Lorraine. Thus, although compact, the village had two justices and two parishes. The Grand-Ban had for patron Saint Remi, celebrated on October 1, and the Petit-Ban, Saint Privat, honored on August 21. To cut short the quarrels, the bishop of Toul granted, in 1734, two patronal feasts in Vittel. The Revolution put an end to this division by making Vittel a canton capital.

Spa resort frequented by the Romans, it was only operated in contemporary times from 1854.

The town of Vittel saw its fate irremediably linked to hydrotherapy in 1854 when a fountain was purchased by a spa guest from Rodez, Louis Bouloumié, a lawyer convinced by the benefits of Vittel water.

The water from the Gérémoy fountain, named after the area where it is located, officially treated gout, gravel, diabetes, the bladder and the urinary tract from 1855.

The spa establishment authorized by the government will be the first stone of a large building that will quickly form the spa of Vittel.

Second World War
From May 1, 1941 to September 12, 1944, an internment camp called "reception camp", the Vittel internment camp, was set up by the German occupiers in the spa park. He gathered around two thousand British, Canadian and then American women to serve as bargaining chips.

In January 1943 were added three hundred Jews from Drancy, the USSR and Poland. Among the internees from the Warsaw ghetto was Mary Berg. It was exchanged for German prisoners and left for the United States where it arrived on March 16, 1944. She wrote a journal, Warsaw Ghetto: A Diary. She describes a camp intended to reassure the Red Cross, where conditions were therefore good.

Among the other internees, Sofka Skipwith (biography in Wikipedia in English), and Hillel Seidman.

Madeleine Steinberg, British internee, also speaks of the Vittel camp in her memoirs, Les Camps de Besançon et de Vittel.

Among the internees were also the Yiddish poet Ytshak Katzenelson and his son Zvi, deported on April 29, 1944 to Auschwitz, and gassed upon their arrival on May 1, 1944, as were almost all Polish internees. Katzenelson had had time to bury his poem The Song of the Assassinated Jewish People, written in Vittel.

Édouard Herriot was interned at the Villa Suzanne from April 12 to August 2, 1943.

The city was liberated by the Leclerc division on September 12, 1944.

Since 1945
1998: The Vittel bypass is inaugurated, it bypasses the city from the south.
2009: Creation of the community of municipalities of Vittel-Contrexéville.