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

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

1961

January 16

The referendum ended, as usual, with a victory for General de Gaulle. In France, of course. Once again, he has been put in charge of bringing peace to Algeria. The Muslims would prefer that he left them the fuck alone. They either abstained wherever possible, or they voted “yes.” The roumis voted no.1 The “yes” vote won anyway in Algeria, as well as in France. The atmosphere is still charged with threats, and people feel the activists are capable of anything.

A rational fellow told me that the rage of the French in Algeria is out of control. Their rage is filled with hatred and fear, but not madness. They have money, and they use it to pay ruthless commandos to go terrorize the Arabs at night during curfew: they bang on doors, brutalize or kill people, and start fires. They must have lists and get specific orders. These people are killers. The Arabs fight back by yelling youyou and counterattack with bottles filled with water, pebbles, and sticks.2 As soon as someone knocks on your door, start youyouing but do not open your door; your neighbors will cry youyou also, and then others will do the same. When the alert has been heard everywhere in the vicinity, you must come out and make threats. Then the black 403 Peugeot or the D. S. Citroen of the same color will hightail it into the night, with its cargo of rowdies wearing civilian clothes or paratrooper outfits.

If they are lucky enough to run into an Arab, they have to kill him to get the 100,000 old francs bonus. Otherwise, the nocturnal expedition only brings 15,000 francs for each man. Go and check if this is true or false.


February 11

As things stand, it seems that all bets have been placed. We will have our independence, one way or the other. Soon Bour-

-287-

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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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