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Algerian War: for Algiers, France must go further on the question of memory


In the Algerian circle of those who debate and write regularly on questions of memory, another name resonates alongside that of Ali Boumendjel.

"I think a lot about Malika Boumendjel, who died in August 2020, for whom the truth was a constant struggle, and of

this recognition

which comes very late because she has not read it ..."

On this March 2, the historian Malika Rahal , author of the book

Ali Boumendjel.

A French affair.

An Algerian history

, published by Éditions Barzakh in Algeria, also thinks

“of all the victims of enforced disappearance during the battle of Algiers in 1957 and everywhere else, on Algerian territory during the war of independence.

It is impossible to cut Ali Boumendjel off from the others ”.

Read also: France's impossible dream in Algeria

And to cite as an example the father and several brothers of Malika Boumendjel, also victims of enforced disappearance.

“At the same time, as early as 1957, in France, some made the link between the assassination of Boumendjel, disguised as suicide, and the methods of the Gestapo during the Second World War.

He was compared to

Pierre Brossolette

(Companion of the Liberation)

and some with whom he had campaigned in the world peace movement changed their point of view on the FLN when they discovered that he was part of it.

Basically, his death awakened not very distant memories at the time of the German occupation, and that is perhaps what makes it special, seen from France, ”she


In the Algerian circle of those who debate and write regularly on issues of memory, another name is put on the words of Malika Rahal: Larbi Ben M'hidi, one of the six historical leaders of the FLN.

"Just like Boumendjel, he was tortured, murdered and his murder was disguised as suicide by General Aussaresses," one


However, for the French, Larbi Ben M'hidi remains a “terrorist”.

While the death of Boumendjel was a shock in France as in Algeria.

Macron made a more consensual choice… ”

This is also the opinion of Bachir Derraïs, director and producer of the biopic

Ben M'hidi

, censored to date in Algeria.

“Macron should have combined the recognition of these two assassinations.

Because, without wanting to minimize the Boumendjel affair, the recognition of the murder of Ben M'hidi would have had much more impact on Algerian public opinion, ”he


"A state crime"

In 2018, Drifa Ben M'hidi, Larbi Ben M'hidi's sister, had also arrested Emmanuel Macron to recognize

"a state crime".

“The assassination of Boumendjel had mobilized the corporation of lawyers, journalists and important personalities, while the assassination of Ben M'hidi had almost gone unnoticed,”

recalls Bachir Derraïs.

No defense committee had been set up to put pressure on the French government. ”

Read also: Shadows and lights of the conquest of Algeria

Algeria has officially not commented on the subject.

At the time of the publication of Benjamin Stora's report, the acting secretary general of the National Organization of Mujahedin (ex-combatants), Mohand Ouamar Benelhadj, however regretted that the historian reduced the crimes of colonization to

"assassination". de Boumendjel by calling for a joint celebration of this event to close the memory file ”.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-03-03

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