Victory Day in France for Algeria , May 8 is a day of mourning. If the day is a public holiday in France , it is because it celebrates the end of World War II in Europe. For Algeria, May 8, 45 is the sad day massacre of unprecedented violence began . Ironically , these two events, one symbolizing a step towards peace , the other a total regression of humanity, yet the same day are intrinsically linked.
Holiday in France , May 8th, 1945 is a day of celebration. It celebrates the capitulation of Nazi Germany to Hitler, but also the end of a terribly violent war in Europe. If May 8 marks a major turning point in the 2nd World War , however, this date does not means the total cessation of fighting since the war against Japan will continue for some months until the abominations committed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The scene of jubilation in a bloody crackdown
The massacres of Setif, Guelma and Kherrata began on 8 May 1945. For several weeks, the French army will engage in terrible massacres causing the death of thousands of Algerians , mostly in Setif , Guelma and Kherrata .
In May 1945, Algeria is a French department . May 8, 1945, when parades are held to celebrate the German capitulation, thousands of people marched peacefully to celebrate the end of the war in Europe. Among those gathered , include French and Algerian flags, slogans for the release of the Independence Messali Hajd fuse . The French authorities did not appreciate these signs of independence and demanded that the patriotic banners and Algerian flags are not flown .
The event will then overflow when French police officer shoots a young Algerian , a shot that is fatal . Following this, the demonstrators panic and riots causing the death of hundreds of Europeans.
Disproportionate and punitive retaliation will occur when making a countless number of Algerian victims . According to the French authorities at the time , the record was 1,165 dead. But a report of the American secret services announced a review of 17 000 people . As the Algerian government , it puts forward a figure of 45 000 deaths . According to historians, there would have been between 8,000 and 20,000 deaths. And some speak of "genocide." On 8 May 1945 , the French television at the time did not speak , preferring silence massacre that killed thousands of Algerians.
At that time, Ferhat Abbas and Hajj including Messali maintain hope of an Algerian recognition and their desire for independence . These hopes will dramatically disappointed by the events of Setif .
Despite the Algerian contribution to the victory due to the participation of Algerians in World War II, they have no recognition. Their aspirations for independence are only disappointment. Nothing more evocative than the massacres demonstrated . Their independence claims will not be heard . Thus, the Sétif massacres indicate the beginnings of the war of independence that will come 10 years later.
A little recognition assumed
" An inexcusable tragedy," said Michel Barnier was in 2005, French Foreign Minister at the time. However, a first for a member of the French government. For the historian Benjamin Stora , the price of reconciliation can only be the recognition that some describe as "genocide."
These dramatic events indelible common history of Algeria and France . As pointed out in 1974 Abdelaziz Bouteflika "relations between France and Algeria may be good or bad , in any case they can not be trivial ." 69 years after the massacre , the duty of remembrance is still important to make sure that does not happen past mistakes , without falling into despondency and a sense of revenge that would plunge our civilization in the darkest moments history and reopen a wound now healed.
François Hollande and Abdelaziz Bouteflika.