The Drancy internment camp of Paris, France, was used to hold Jews who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered including 6,000 children. Only 2,000 remained alive when Allied forces liberated the camp on 17 August 1944.

After the 1940 defeat by Germany and the 10 July 1940 vote of full powers to Marshal Philippe Pétain, the French Republic was abolished and Vichy France was proclaimed. The Vichy government wholeheartedly cooperated with Nazi Germany, hunting down foreign and French Jews and turning them over to the Gestapo for transport to the Third Reich's extermination camps.

The Drancy internment camp, named after the northeastern suburb of Paris in which it was located, was a large complex originally planned as a public housing project but used as police barracks until converted into a major detention center primarily for Jews but also for homosexuals, Roma people and others labeled as "undesirables".

On 20 August 1941, French police conducted raids throughout the 11th District of Paris and arrested more than 4,000 Jews, mainly foreign or stateless Jews. French authorities interned these Jews in Drancy, marking its official opening. French police enclosed the barracks and courtyard with barbed-wire fencing and provided guards for the camp. Drancy fell under the command of the Gestapo Office of Jewish Affairs in France and German SS Captain Theodor Dannecker. Five subcamps of Drancy were located throughout Paris (three of which were the Austerlitz, Lévitan and Bassano camps).

Drancy was under the control of the French police until July 3,1943, when Germany took direct control of the Drancy camp and SS officer Alois Brunner became camp commandant as part of the major stepping up at all facilities needed for mass extermination. The French police carried out additional roundups of Jews throughout the war. In December 1941, 40 prisoners from Drancy were executed in retaliation for a French attack on German police officers.

The Drancy camp was in a multi-story complex designed to hold 700 people, but at its peak held more than 7,000. There is documented evidence and testimony recounting the brutality of the French guards in Drancy and the brutal conditions imposed on the inmates. Upon their arrival, small children were immediately separated from their parents for deportation to the death camps. 

On 6 April 1944, SS First Lieutenant Klaus Barbie raided a children's home in Izieu, France, where Jewish children had been hidden. Barbie arrested everyone present, all 44 children and 7 adult staff members. The next day, the Gestapo transported the arrestees to Drancy. From there, all the children and staff were deported to Auschwitz. None of them survived.

In 1984 Klaus Barbie was put on trial for crimes committed while he was in charge of the Gestapo in Lyon between 1942 and 1944. On July 4, 1987, Barbie was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2001, Drancy commander Alois Brunner's case was brought before a French court by Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld, which sentenced Brunner in absentia to a life sentence for crimes against humanity. But Brunner was never found and managed to avoid any punishment for his crimes.