French Politics and the Memory of the Algerian War

The historical memory of the Algerian War (1954-1962) looms large in French politics.

Commemorations this weekend of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Algerian War and the establishment of Algerian independence in 1962 come in the midst of intense campaigning for the French Presidential Election.

The New York Times reports that “While President Emmanuel Macron of France has tried over the past year to address the painful memories of his country’s colonial history in Algeria, the long shadows of that past — provoked by such messages — have increasingly pervaded the campaigns of right-wing candidates in next month’s presidential elections.”

President Emmanuel Macron 19 March 2022. Photo: GONZALO FUENTES / POOL / AFP.

Far-right candidates Éric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen have both denounced Macron’s efforts, employing racist language against Algerian and other North African immigrants.

Historians such as Benjamin Stora and Sylvie Thénault, who have studied the Algerian War closely, have weighed in on the commemorations of Algerian Independence and historical memories of Algerian War in the current French Presidential Election. Historian Malika Rahal conducted an in-depth interview with Le Monde on the legacies of the Algerian War.

Protest in Algiers, August 1962. Photo by Fernand PARIZOT / AFP.

Le Monde provides a series of reports on the 60th anniversary of the Évian Accords (1962) that ended the Algerian War.

The New York Times offers an analysis in English of the commemorations of the end of the Algerian War and Algerian Independence.

This entry was posted in Civil Conflict, Empires and Imperialism, European History, European Studies, French Empire, French History, History of Violence, Museums and Historical Memory, Strategy and International Politics, War, Culture, and Society. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.