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french algerian war atrocities

[i] Describing groups involved in the Algerian Revolution can be tricky. He confessed to having himself engaged in torture and having himself illegally executed 24 Algerians, under the orders of Guy Mollet's government. Chronique d'un échec annoncé ? L’IGCI/CICDA pendant la guerre d'Algérie" in Laurent Feller (dir. A Diplomatic Revolution. The parties fought on this front too. She named General Massu as the responsible of the French military at the time. Jones, J. In 1841, the liberal thinker and deputy Alexis de Tocqueville could declare: War in Africa is a science. "Des viols pendant la guerre d'Algérie", "La lutte contre le terrorisme urbain" in Jean-Charles Jauffret et. He had to resign a few months later, and the ICRC was prohibited for a year from undertaking any mission to Algeria. As early as 2 November 1954, Catholic writer François Mauriac called against the use of torture in L'Express in an article titled Surtout, ne pas torturer ("Above all, do not torture."). Articles which are sometime strange: in the 1 November 1961 issue of Carrefour, for example, M. Vinciguerra, who was, with Kovacs, one of the torturers in the Villa des Sources, offered his indignation, and on the next page we could read the prose of...Colonel Trinquier... We certainly do not forget that torture is a system that has been established in Algeria by policemen and military men of whom many are today members of the OAS. French soldiers responded by shooting, several demonstrators were killed. [citation needed] On the other hand, General Bigeard violently denied its use. Bigeard, who qualified FLN activists as "savages", claimed torture was a "necessary evil. The population of European ancestry was established for over 100 years by the time the revolution occurred, making it difficult to separate them from what one might call a “native” population. [25], Henri Alleg, director of the Alger Républicain newspaper and of the Algerian Communist Party (PCA), who himself had been tortured, denounced it in La Question (Minuit, 1958), which sold 60,000 copies in one day. Following 9 May 1945 Sétif massacres, other riots against the European presence occurred in Guelma, Batna, Biskra, and Kherrata, causing 103 deaths among the colonials. During the 1954-62 war, which claimed 1.5 million Algerian lives, French forces brutally cracked down on independence fighters in the then colony, which was ruled by Paris for 130 years. Stephen J. Fallon. In 1995, Le Pen unsuccessfully sued Jean Dufour, regional counselor of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (French Communist Party) for the same reason. [6] The judgement was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in April 2003. by Commander H. Canuel. The Interview: An Ethnographic Approach. Jane Marie Todd. French Counterinsurgency in Algeria: Forgotten Lessons from a Misunderstood Conflict. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. His government had to resign three days later. [9][10], "Whatever the case", continued Tocqueville, "we may say in a general manner that all political freedoms must be suspended in Algeria. The Setif massacre occurred on May 8, 1945, the day that Germany surrendered in World War II. [3] Henri Alleg's 1958 book, La Question, Boris Vian's The Deserter, and Jean-Luc Godard's 1960 film Le Petit Soldat (released in 1963) are famous examples of such censorship. Just as Algeria and France are undertaking a joint effort to preserve the historical legacy of the Algerian War, a recently released book reveals details about the clandestine operations carried out by French intelligence services. [57][58][59][60][61][62][63] The repression of these riots officially caused 1,500 deaths, but N. Bancel, P. Blanchard, and S. Lemaire estimate it to be rather between 6,000 and 8,000 deaths[14][15], Three years before the 1954 Toussaint Rouge insurrection, Claude Bourdet, a former Resistant wrote an article published on 6 December 1951 in L'Observateur, which was titled "Is there a Gestapo in Algeria?" "Numerous cases of ill-treatment and torture are still being reported", the article disclosed, giving the ICRC's legitimacy to the many previously documented cases. John McGuffin's book "Beating the Terrorists" (Penguin) also alleges that French advisors were seen at Fort Morbut in Aden during the independence war. Talks continued in 1961 in Evian and a cease-fire took effect on March 18, 1962. General Salan, commander-in-chief of the French forces in Algeria, had developed in Indochina a theory of "counter-revolutionary warfare" that included the use of torture.[7]. The suspects were arrested during raids, after having been denounced. French Failure in Algeria: A Public Relations Disaster. Torture was also evoked during the trial of ALN activist Djamila Boupacha, defended by lawyer Gisèle Halimi. According to Henri Alleg, "in reality, the base of the problem was this unjust war itself. The latter were deprived of food for from two to eight days in a blatant violation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.". He was overthrown in a coup in 1965 led by Abdelaziz Bouteflika. For more than a year irrefutable new evidence of war crimes committed by French forces during the Algerian war of independence has been surfacing in French newspapers and in memoirs by senior French generals. This trajectory silenced the voices on both sides that called for moderation, and the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) was thus characterized by FLN terrorism and French brutality. », French: "En réalité, le fond du problème était cette guerre injuste elle-même. The arrest of Generals Salan and Jouhaud [leaders of the OAS] has just proved it. [55] Le Pen still denies the use of torture, claiming there had been only "interrogation sessions". Beating was combined with many different techniques, among them hanging by the feet or hands, water torture, torture by electric shock, and rape. Exceptional circumstances call for exceptional measures. The French military responded with ratissage, the “raking over” of towns and villages through bombing, arrests, and torture. In celebration, Algerian forces, who fought for France, displayed an Algerian flag as a symbol of freedom. We must point out that some of them were very young teenagers and others old men of 75, 80 years or more. Prior to World War II the Party of the Algerian People (Parti du Peuple Algérien) had been founded by Messali Hadj. In my view these are unfortunate circumstances that any people wishing to wage war against the Arabs must accept. This, even for the sake of interest, is more noxious than useful; for, as another officer was telling me, if our sole aim is to equal the Turks, in fact we shall be in a far lower position than theirs: barbarians for barbarians, the Turks will always outdo us because they are Muslim barbarians. Thus, until 10 August 1999, the French Republic persisted in calling the Algerian War a simple "operation of public order" against the FLN "terrorism. In the same year, he denounced torture as a "habitual repressive method, systematic, official, and massive. (bismillah) France and Algeria unconcerned by revelations of French atrocitiesFor more than a year irrefutible new evidence of war crimes committed by French forces during the Algerian war of independence has been surfacing in French newspapers and in memoirs by senior French … Human Rights Watch: le gouvernement français doit ordonner une enquête officielle. I will give you a very honest answer, just hope it can explain why Algeria won independence. [27], According to the "Vérité Liberté", the end of these torture sessions was either liberation (often the case for women and for those who could pay), internment, or "disappearance." As combat moved to the capital, casualties peaked over the next year during the two, back-to-back battles of Algiers. WARNING, CREEPY PICTURES! People affiliated with the French rule in Algeria who stayed after the French left suffered retributive violence. The brutal 1954-1962 Algerian War of Independence saw atrocities committed on both sides with Algerian historians putting the death toll at 1.5 million Algerian victims while French … Introduction | Atrocities | Fatalities | Ending | Coding | Works Cited | Notes. “Analysis of the Algerian War of Independence: Les Evenments, a Lost Opportunity for Peace” Journal of Conflictology 3:2, 52 – 61. Most controversial are the numbers of civilians killed. Calcada, Miquel. On July 1, 1962, Algerians overwhelmingly voted for independence and on July 3, French Pres. The number of massacres peaked in 1997, with a smaller … He later declared to Le Monde in 2000 that "torture was not necessary and that we could have decided not to use it". They threw hundreds of prisoners into the sea from the port of Algiers or by helicopter death flights. According to historian R. Branche, torture would begin with the systematic stripping of the victim. This episode in the Algerian tragedy is one of the great turning points in colonial history. [13], Other historians also show that torture was fully a part of the colonialist system: "Torture in Algeria was engraved in the colonial act, it is the "normal" illustration of an abnormal system", wrote Nicolas Bancel, Pascal Blanchard, and Sandrine Lemaire, who have published decisive work on the phenomena of "human zoos. Bigeard also recognized that Larbi Ben M’Hidi had been assassinated, and his death disguised as a "suicide".[23]. Khalafullah noted that France is responsible for the mass destruction of villages and settlements in Algeria, as well as for testing nuclear weapons on the territory of Algeria, the consequences of which are still felt. The pied noirs lobby was powerful in Paris, and it pushed for apartheid-like white dominance. Riots followed and after five days of chaos, 103 pieds noirs were killed. Connelly, M. 2002. But May 1945 was different. The civilian authorities relinquished control to the military during the Battle of Algiers from January to October 1957. This pattern continued until independence in 1962. France first occupied Algeria in 1830 and considered it to be an integral component of the French metropolitan state. [7], On 5 January 1960 the newspaper Le Monde published a summary of the report on the ICRC's seventh mission to Algeria. Jean-Luc Einaudi: "La bataille de Paris: 17 October 1961", 1991, French Section of the Workers' International, Church of the Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine, "La torture et l'armée pendant la guerre d'Algérie". True, because the Algerian independence conflict from 1954 to 1962 embroiled France in a colonial war that cost tens of thousands of French lives (not to mention the huge cost in Algerian lives), triggered violent protests, and brought about a change of leadership in the home country. The team of the "Tagarins" [barracks] remains to the contrary isolated...To our knowledge, nobody has accused the units charged with controlling. ... all atrocities equally atrocious.” Algeria: France’s Undeclared War. This U.S. pathway leads directly to SOA graduate Leopoldo Galtieri, the Argentine dictator and commanding officer of Luis María Mendía. This book does not whitewash the atrocities committed by both sides; rather it focuses on the conflict itself, a perspective assisted by the French republic's official admission in 1999 that what happened in Algeria was indeed a war. General Marcel Bigeard, who had denied employing torture for forty years, finally also admitted that it had been used, although he claimed that he personally had not engaged in the practice. [3] However, some claim that the main aim was in fact to absolve the French army of accusations and to gain time (Raphaëlle Branche, 2004).[7]. Aussaresses said that it had been directly ordered by Guy Mollet's government. AP This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Franco-Algerian War's cease-fire and French politicians have been paying homage to those who took part in Algeria's fight for independence. Ethnicity is also a contentious categorization, since the populations in support of French rule and in opposition to it were composed of multiple ethnicities. It's both true and false to say that Algeria is to France as Vietnam is to the United States. It was only in 1995–96 that new works began to reveal information. While incompletely evidenced, the strongest presumption of torture by the FPA pertains to two locations in the 13th arrondissement. ", Branche, Raphaëlle. General Salan refused to apply the Geneva Conventions ratified by France in 1951 because the detainees were not POW's. In 1954 the National Liberation Front (FLN) began a guerrilla war against France and … At the age of twenty she had been captured in September 1957, during the Battle of Algiers, and raped and tortured for three months. Oxford: Oxford University Press. The Prefecture of Police denied using torture or undue violence. There are both French and U.S. pathways that explain the spread of torture, including methods used in Algeria, to Latin American regimes allied with the West from the 1960s onwards. The French Army's war in Algeria has always aroused passions. More than one million French, Italian, and Spanish nationals were settled there by 1959 and comprised 10 percent of the general population. Already in 1977, British historian Alistair Horne wrote in A Savage War of Peace that torture was to become a growing cancer for France, leaving behind a poison that would linger in the French system long after the war itself had ended. I think that all the means available to wreck tribes must be used, barring those that the human kind and the right of nations condemn. Regarding the French pathway, journalist Marie-Monique Robin argued in her 2004 book on death squads how French intelligence agents had taught their Chilean and Argentine counterparts the use of torture and "disappearances" as a counter-insurgency tactic. [ii] Calcada 53. Everyone is familiar with its rules and everyone can apply those rules with almost complete certainty of success. Atrocities. Elements of both sides in the Algerian War of Independence—the French Armed Forces and the opposing Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN)—used deliberate torture during that conflict (1954–1962), creating an ongoing public controversy. The French Army did not consider the detainees as POW's, but as PAM (French acronym for "taken captive while in possession of weapons", pris les armes à la main). Pierre Vidal-Naquet (1930–2006), one of the leaders of the Comité Audin, had denounced the systematic use of torture by the 10e DP during the 1957 Battle of Algiers. New York: The Viking Press. "[3] This was therefore a 'classic' colonial war of liberation, and it is on these different viewpoints (police action vs. war) that much of the argument about these events tends to focus. [7] It was described by "Verité Liberté": The interrogatories is done in accordance with the provisional guide of the intelligence agent (Guide provisoire de l'officier de renseignement, OR), chapter IV: first, the officer questions the prisoner in the "traditional" manner, hitting him with fist and kicking him. The French government characterized the FLN as criminals rather than as political activists, and sent ever more troops into Algeria to restore “order.” One of the most appalling aspects of the Algerian War was how traditional working-class organizations abandoned any pretense to internationalism. Louisette Ighilahriz declared that she had been tortured for three months and accused as the responsible party General Massu as the then-commander of the French armed forces. French film breaks silence of Algerian war atrocities July 16, 2004 in Entertainment A NEW film described as France’s Platoon tackles the savagery of the Algerian war, broaching a topic that until recently remained taboo and helping France face the demons of its colonial past. Other famous opponents of torture included Robert Bonnaud, who published on counsel of his friend Pierre Vidal-Naquet an article in 1956 in L'Esprit, a personalist review founded by Emmanuel Mounier (1905–1950). Henri Alleg, denounced it in La Question, which along with La Gangrène, by Bachir Boumaza, and Italian Communist Gillo Pontecorvo's 1966 film The Battle of Algiers were censored in France. Algerian War, also called Algerian War of Independence, (1954–62) war for Algerian independence from France.The movement for independence began during World War I (1914–18) and gained momentum after French promises of greater self-rule in Algeria went unfulfilled after World War II (1939–45). An ALN activist, Louisette Ighilahriz, had been tortured by General Massu. [v], Fighting between political parties (particularly the GPRA and ALN) resulted in the “deaths of over a thousand members of both sides during August and early September 1962 before a ceasefire was agreed on 5 September.”[vi]. Despite their working-class background, these colons—or pied noirs as they became more commonly known—enjoyed a status that elevated them above the Algerian population. Violence committed by the OAS reached its highest point just after the ceasefire period, and anti-harki massacres spiked in July 1962. Two important officials, one civilian and another military, resigned because of the use of torture. Nabila Ramdani is a French-Algerian journalist and commentator who specializes in French politics and the Arab world. The French Army's war in Algeria has always aroused passions. On January 8, 1961, France held a referendum on Algerian independence. From 1954 onward, the FLN sought to establish a politico-military organization among the 300,000 Algerians residing in France; by 1958, it had overwhelmed Messali Hadj's Algerian National Movement, despite the latter's popularity with Algerian expatriates at the onset of the war. In that case, regardless of the correctness of this allegation or the mission of these advisors, their role was minute relative to that of the British forces trying to ensure a peaceful transfer of power during Aden Emergency. These men personally directed the atrocities now being revealed, and revel in their grisly stories, confirming in the process the role of French politicians in them. ... all atrocities equally atrocious.” Julio Godoy. True, because the Algerian independence conflict from 1954 to 1962 embroiled France in a colonial war that cost tens of thousands of French lives (not to mention the huge cost in Algerian lives), triggered violent protests, and brought about a change of leadership in the home country. One of them, Louis Delarue, wrote a text distributed to all units: If, in the general interest, the law allows a murderer to be killed, why should it be seen as monstrous to submit a delinquent who has been recognized as such, and is therefore liable to be put to death, to an interrogation which might be painful but whose only object is, thanks to the revelations he may make about his accomplices and leaders, to protect the innocent? For more than a year irrefutable new evidence of war crimes committed by French forces during the Algerian war of independence has been surfacing in French newspapers and in memoirs by senior French generals. [68], The French and U.S. pathways have a common root, as the use of electrical generators for torture was invented in America in 1908, spread in Asia during World War II, and passed to both French and U.S. forces during their respective involvement in the First Indochina War and the Vietnam War (or Second Indochina War).[67]. Tr. The archives of the war were closed to the public for thirty years, a period extendable for up to 60 years for those documents that were liable to compromise a person's privacy or state security. À partir du moment où on mène une guerre coloniale, c’est-à-dire une guerre pour soumettre un peuple à sa volonté, on peut édicter toutes les lois que l'on veut, il y aura toujours des dépassements." This having been said, there is no need to dissimulate against the truth; such facts are scandalous and intolerable. Just as Algeria and France are undertaking a joint effort to preserve the historical legacy of the Algerian War, a recently released book reveals details about the clandestine operations carried out by French intelligence services. Pierre-Vidal Naquet, Member of the Bureau of the Comité Audin. Branche, Raphaëlle. [4][53] However, since General Massu's revelations, Bigeard has now admitted the use of torture, although he denies having personally used it. I personally believe that the laws of war enable us to ravage the country and that we must do so either by destroying the crops at harvest time or any time by making fast forays also known as raids the aim of which it to get hold of men or flocks. Thus, General Jacques Massu, commander of the 10th Parachute Division (10e DP), in charge during the Battle of Algiers, was to crush the insurgency by whatever means necessary. The French Army's war in Algeria has always aroused passions. An exhibition in Paris marking the years of colonial rule in Algeria whitewashes the crimes of France's erstwhile empire Thu 5 Jul 2012 03.00 EDT. [26] The title of his book referred to the Inquisition, who was said to put people "to the question." French film breaks silence on war atrocities in Algeria / VIDEO. The struggle against the OAS must be directed with ruthlessness, certainly, but it is not with teams of torturers, and even less with courts-martials that we will arrest what J.-M. Domenach called a "clandestine fascism." There were many, and it's hard to say which are the worst. [46][47], However, historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet said, concerning Mitterrand, who was President of France from 1981 to 1995, that "when he was Justice Minister in 1956–57, during the Algerian War, he has been not as bad as had been claimed. [citation needed] In testimony in January 2007 before Argentine judges, Luis María Mendía, Argentine Admiral and originator of the "death flights" during the "Dirty War", referred to Marie Monique Robin's film documentary titled The Death Squads – the French School (Les escadrons de la mort – l'école française), which argued that the French intelligence services had trained Argentine counterparts in counter-insurgency techniques. "La commission de sauvegarde des droits et libertés individuels pendant la guerre d'Algérie. According to Aussaresses, Massu followed on a daily basis the list of "interrogated" prisoners and of "accidents" which occurred during these torture sessions. In addition to generating a widespread sense of fear, the massacres effected migration from and depopulation of the worst-affected areas. Faber and Faber. Special powers were devolved to the military and were returned to civilian powers only in September 1959, when Charles de Gaulle made his speech on self-determination. Stora, Benjamin. The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and Its Arabs. The first amnesty was passed in 1962 by President Charles de Gaulle, by decree, preempting a parliamentary discussion that might have denied immunity to men like General Paul Aussaresses. During the 1954-62 war, which claimed 1.5 million Algerian lives, French forces brutally cracked down on independence fighters in the then colony, which was ruled by Paris for 130 years. [54] However, he lost his trial, with the French justice declaring Le Monde's investigations as legitimate and credible, though Le Pen appealed. "[12] However, Le Cour Grandmaison's work has been criticized by Gilbert Meynier and Pierre Vidal-Naquet in an article published in Esprit. [64] Her argument was based on several filmed interviews of high-ranking Argentine military officers, who were themselves accused of torture at the time. But in 1957 the Minister of Interior declared a state of emergency in Algeria, and the government granted extraordinary powers to General Massu. At the time, Horne could not confirm or deny that torture had been ordered by the highest ranks of the military and civilian hierarchy of the French state. Whoever are the victims, these torturers speak and act in our name; we do not have the right to allow, by our silence, the belief that we are their accomplices. France Faces Its Demons For Algerian War Brutality By Keith B. Richburg, Washington Post, Thursday 10 May 2001; Page A26 General's Admission of Torture, Executions Sparks Outrage. "Escadrons de la mort, l’école française" présentation sur le site de la LDH de Toulon. [vii], He also argues that the least controversial of all the numbers put forward by various groups are those concerning the French soldiers, where government numbers are largely accepted as sound. French Gen. Paul Aussaresses, whose remorseless admission of executions and torture during the Algerian independence war five decades ago forced France … from, Guy Chambarlac, "Tueurs et porteurs de valise", in, Jean-Luc Einaudi and Maurice Rajsfus, 2001, op.cit., p.75. French rule of Algeria was established during the years of 1830–47, in which a groundwork was created in how the nation would be controlled. Some 75 percent of mainland citizens voted for independence, while 69.5 percent of the population in Algeria voted for it, and French President de Gaulle opened secret negotiations with the FLN. The subsequent French retaliation was overwhelming: a conservative estimate places the dead at 15,000 Muslims.[ii]. Since the corpses sometimes came back up to the surface, they began to pour concrete on their feet. THE FRENCH ARMY AND TORTURE DURING THE ALGERIAN WAR (1954–1962), COLONIALISM THROUGH THE SCHOOL BOOKS – The hidden history of the Algerian war, Torture in Algeria. There were uprisings in the Kabyle region and eastern Algeria in 1871 and in the Aurès mountains in 1916. [46] The Ligue des droits de l'homme (LDH, Human Rights League) deposed a complaint against him for "apology of war crimes", as Paul Aussaresses justified the use of torture, claiming it had saved lives. It is under Galtieri's regime that the use of torture became systematic in Argentina; other countries where SOA graduates were accused of involvement in torture or political murders include Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, Panama and Haiti. "[49][50] To the contrary, General Jacques Massu denounced it, following Aussaresses' revelations, and before his death pronounced himself in favor of an official condemnation of the use of torture during the war. 10 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - A new film described as France's "Platoon" tackles the savagery of the Algerian war, broaching a topic that until recently remained taboo … [42], Two days after the visit to France of Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Louisette Ighilahriz, a former Armée de Libération Nationale activist, published her testimony in Le Monde on 20 June 2000. Pierre Vidal-Naquet, one of the many signatories to the Manifeste des 121 against torture,[30] wrote a book, L'Affaire Audin (1957), and, as a historian, would continue to work on the Algerian War all his life. This attempt at pacification by employing both targeted raids as well as mass punishment characterized the French strategy throughout the conflict. Elle n'en demeure pas moins sur les deux rives, une pratique tolérée par les autorités et une violence à laquelle les Algériens savent pouvoir s'attendre. 2001. [iii] Algerians who joined the FLN late once the tide had turned, used violence as a way to prove themselves and to claim materials rewards (through looting, for instance). [45][46], Concerning the use of torture, it was tolerated, if not recommended. Algerian War, also called Algerian War of Independence, (1954–62) war for Algerian independence from France.The movement for independence began during World War I (1914–18) and gained momentum after French promises of greater self-rule in Algeria went unfulfilled after World War II (1939–45). Which were small enough to impede lying down on a charge of supporting the FLN leadership Pen still the... Number to capture the harkis ” in Skinner, Jonathon, ed France, displayed Algerian! On 12 September 1957, in 1958 General Salan refused to apply the Geneva ratified! 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In world war II the Party of the General population Charles de Gaulle firmly against the pied french algerian war atrocities... Lawyer Gisèle Halimi Public Relations Disaster problème était cette guerre injuste elle-même officials one! Atrocities | Fatalities | Ending | Coding | works Cited | Notes having their thrown. In reality, the area was tension-filled, with accounts suggesting a rise violence... Bollardière, who was a `` habitual repressive method, systematic, official, and criticized him for to... In 1958 General Salan and Jouhaud [ leaders of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, ratified by France in because! Algiers Police, who fought for France, displayed french algerian war atrocities Algerian flag a. Commanding officer of Luis María Mendía of colonial war 1957, remains to this, the thinker. 39 ] Watch: le gouvernement français doit ordonner une enquête officielle crackdown, successfully quelling FLN operations within.... 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Bureau of the great turning points in colonial history earth policy against the Arabs must accept: war in:! Seconde commission de sauvegarde des droits et libertés individuels pendant la guerre d'Algérie '', which...

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