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 Post subject: The truth about Algeria
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:05 pm 
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Can anyone recommend a book that gives a true account of French colonisation of Algeria ?

I have a friend who was born in France of Algerian parents and she says that so much has been covered up that she has never found a true account (in French). I suggested that it is quite possible that something has been published in English and gave her examples of books about the Occupation in France written in English.

She told me that files which had been closed for 50 years and could have been made public have been closed for another 50 years. I didn't question her as to where she had looked but it is clearly an emotive subject.

I admitted to her that I knew very little about Algeria as it is not a subject that seems to come up much in the UK - apart from being a place on the Foreign office black list. The conversation with my friend has whetted my appetite to learn more.


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 Post subject: Re: The truth about Algeria
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:16 pm 
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If only 1% of what I have been told of what happened in the war of independence is true then I would recommend that persons without stone hearts do NOT want to know what happened.


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 Post subject: Re: The truth about Algeria
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:33 pm 
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It really was as bad as that ? :(
I've come across a fair amount of French pieds noirs who were very sad to leave and I've also met several people born in France of Algerian parents. I've never asked why the Algerian parents left Algeria - all have family still there, and visit them from time to time. I gather it's very tribal which always causes conflict.


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 Post subject: Re: The truth about Algeria
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:11 am 
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A neighbour is French, born in Algeria of French parents. Even less likely to want to talk about it and I have never broached the subject.

She is a good friend, once married to a Glaswegian, then a Lancastrian, now widowed twice, but will always be remembered by us for our first encounter.

She spoke good English but with a strong French/Glaswegian accent and looked at us with astonishment as we fell about laughing at her directions as to the best way to the neighbouring, larger, village 'teek the wee bredge'.

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 Post subject: Re: The truth about Algeria
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:26 am 
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:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The truth about Algeria
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:15 pm 
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Hello All from a new member - in France a few years but having just found this forum.

We lived in Oran from March 1969 until July 1970, and travelled around the coastal fringe as far as Algiers, and the oil field areas of the Sahara. I even managed to drive as far south as Tindouf.

We liked and enjoyed the country and the people, but not the Algerian/American company I worked for.

Not one person we talked with mentioned the war, and we didn't ask about it.

There are several books on the history of Algeria and of the war available from Amazon France which may be of interest.


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 Post subject: Re: The truth about Algeria
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:47 pm 
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Blaze. While looking at the area we lived in near Oran on Google Earth I noticed a Panoramio image of "Le Chateau Navarre, Clairefontaine" a large building close to the beach, in Bouisseville, Ain el Turk, which was already in poor repair when we were there.

It was inhabitated by a lone elderly lady, who may have had one servant. She lived in just a couple of rooms, as she could not afford to heat or light all of them. She was very well liked by the small kids arund there, and there were several of them sitting on the floor around her when my wife called on her once.

I had not previously known the name of the building, and on Googling it I found a blog by a one time resident of Oran - http://koubach.skyrock.com/1249876986-C ... TAINE.html

The blog mentions the chateau as it was back when he lived there, and has dozens of pictures of the area, taken around 2007. It is sad to see a place we liked so much reduced to its current condition by the Islamist regime, but maybe it has improved since then.

I attach the link in case your friend is interested in the photos and the account in the blog, which can be reached via the tab at the top of the page.


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 Post subject: Re: The truth about Algeria
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:05 pm 
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Hi RogerFox and a warm welcome to the forum ! I think Algeria has been through many changes both before you lived there, and since. Everyone who I've spoken to who has lived or been there says it's a beautiful place but for a long time it's been unsafe to go too far into the interior. Thank you for the link - I'll certainly pass it on (and look at it myself).

I've come across some extremely nice people from the Maghreb countries - it seems logical to learn a bit about their history.

The war and French colonisation is not talked about which makes me wonder why. What are the French covering up and why don't Algerians want to talk about it ? Perhaps I'm being naïve, but the past can't be changed and if it was so bad, then surely no-one wants to repeat it ?


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 Post subject: Re: The truth about Algeria
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:17 pm 
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The biggest sadness for me is the scourge of colonialism and the way it doesn't seem to have occurred to many of our forebears (because it wasn't just the French) how wrong in principle it was.

As I have supported and commiserated with the French Resistance to what was in essence German colonialism in France in WW2, I can't help but feel a little uneasy each May 8th and November 11th at the names of the fallen in Algeria and Morrocco for instance. It only helps to think of the fallen as fallen for France and doing only what was wrong because their country demanded it.

Even more bizarre is the long drawn out conflicts in Algeria and Vietnam only months after the liberation of France, sometimes with former resisters becoming oppressors.

A recent documentary about the Indian Mutiny pointed out that it was called that to ease the conscience of those who averred it was only Indian soldiers revolting, when in fact it may well have been a general insurrection.

Even worse, a cartoon of the time depicted so-called mutineers being executed by being strapped to the barrels of canons and blown to pieces in order that, as Hindus, they would not be able to re-incarnete in the next world. Remind you of anyone? Isis perhaps and their beheadings? But of course they are barbarians, no doubt.

Sorry for the rant. Perhaps you can see why I never broached the subject of Algeria with my neighbour, To possibly lose a friend over something that was not her fault, and perhaps unknown about to her, not worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: The truth about Algeria
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:15 pm 
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Spardo wrote:
A recent documentary about the Indian Mutiny pointed out that it was called that to ease the conscience of those who averred it was only Indian soldiers revolting, when in fact it may well have been a general insurrection.

Yes, whilst one of the reasons given was greasing cartridges with pig or cow fat which the Sepoys had to bite off. But there was general unrest and it only needed a spark to set things off.

India is a very complex country with a deep-rooted class or caste system which is still a real headache today, and the cause of so much violence for centuries. Add to this all the different religions and you have a permanent powder keg.

Back to Algeria - I have read some of Wikipedia's very long text on the Algerian War and its background and it's a very complex subject, definitely not something I can take in in one sitting.


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