The 1945 Setif massacre

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Mike Harman
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Mar 15 2018 12:19
The 1945 Setif massacre

Just added a couple of articles to the library on the Setif massacre. I'd read about it in Wretched of the Earth, but Fanon mentions it for people who already know about it, without giving any background.

This is by Mohammed Harbi - was an FLN member, member of Ben Bella's government but then imprisoned after the 1965 coup.
https://libcom.org/library/massacre-algeria-mohammed-harbi

This is by French Trotskyists who put out a magazine after the war - they'd been members of a partisan group during the war.
https://libcom.org/library/french-partisans-1945-setif-massacre-algeria

There's not much in English online about this really.

I also found this containing some quotes from the PCF at the time - they were members of the De Gaulle government and supported the massacre, smearing Algerians as Nazis supported by the Germans/Vichy remnants.

http://www.est-et-ouest.fr/chronique/2015/150506.html

(machine translation)

Quote:
In the context of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of 1945, we hear again about the events of May 8, 1945 in Sétif and Guelma and the repression that followed.

They are considered respectively by historians as the harbinger of the future Algerian war and also as a sort of 10-year break that the French authorities were not able to use to reform the situation in Africa. North.
Today, some official Algerian propaganda does not fail to make a memorial overbid on this subject. It tends to suggest that repression would have been related to "genocide". A conference of researchers opened in this direction in Oran on May 4th.

It seems interesting to recall what was the position of the PCF in this bloody episode.

At the time of the tragic events of Setif and Guelma, the PCF states that "the perpetrators of the disturbances were of Hitler's inspiration and method". He even suggests the "provocation fomented by the big trusts and the Vichy officials still in place".

General De Gaulle, then at the head of the government, had demanded that "all the necessary measures be taken to repress the actions of a minority of agitators".

The political bureau of the PCF outbid by issuing a press release [12 May 1945]. This text states: "We must immediately punish mercilessly and quickly the organizers of the revolt and the henchmen who led the riot", in the name of the defense "of the French Republic, metropolis and overseas territories. sea, one and indivisible ".

In L'Humanité [May 21, 1945], the Communist Party asks the government to "punish as they deserve the pseudo-nationalist leaders".

Étienne Fajon, spokesman for the communist group, said in the tribune of the National Assembly [July 11, 1945]: "The killings of Guelma and Setif are the manifestation of a fascist conspiracy that found agents in the circles nationalists. "

In a leaflet signed by five members of the central committee and distributed on Algerian soil, the PCF calls for a ruthless repression by demanding that "the arms of the instigators of the revolt and the henchmen who led the riot be put to death. It's not about revenge or retaliation, it's about justice, it's about security for the country. " [source: Didier Idjadi, The PCF in Algeria, 2009.]