Journal, 1955-1962: Reflections on the French-Algerian War

By Mouloud Feraoun; James D. Le Sueur et al. | Go to book overview

1958

January 12, 1958

Ak. came to see me bearing bad news from Kabylia: deadly skirmishes for the French in the riverbed just below our area. The village of Takrat, already empty for three months, was razed to the ground. Other villages of the Iraten were evacuated by order of the military or the rebels. Every day dozens of suspects are shot, and sometimes the victims are people who just happen to be there. At Adini, they arrested eight men pointed out by a turncoat. Only four managed to get back to headquarters. From my window, I saw Mouloud, the driver of a Girard bus burned by the rebels, go by in a jeep, two paratroopers on either side. A week later, he was taken to the Villa Sesini for questioning.

A few preliminary signals seem to indicate that terrorism in the city is being reorganized: attacks are recurring in various places, and there has been a proliferation of neighborhood inspections and massive arrests. Every day the radio reports widespread fighting, violent encounters, bloody hand-to-hand fighting, “important rebel bands.”

In France, the Gaillard cabinet is more preoccupied by the economic crisis and constitutional reform than by the plight of Algeria and, especially, that of Algerians. The official stance is that pacification has recorded some significant results and that, in order to pursue it, France must tighten its belt, borrow money, mortgage Algeria itself to an impartial lender, while dangling it like a carrot before this infant Europe, whose own birth was indeed laborious.

At the international level, the events in Algeria do not make much more noise than the annoying buzz of a fly. What counts most in this arena is proclaiming peaceful intentions in the name of its large population, which is extremely conscious of the dangers of an impending atomic, astral, apocalyptic war. Conscious but highly organized any way.

-235-

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Journal, 1955-1962: Reflections on the French-Algerian War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Editor’s Acknowledgments vi
  • Translators’ Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Preface to the Original French Edition xlix
  • 1955 11
  • 1956 51
  • 1957 165
  • 1958 235
  • 1959 261
  • 1960 271
  • 1961 287
  • 1962 309
  • Notes 317
  • Glossary 335
  • Index 337
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