It was a war of independence that lasted eight years, from 1954 to 1962, brought down the IVand French Republic and leaves raw wounds on both sides of the Mediterranean. Sixty years after the signature of the Évian agreements which put an end to the war and opened the way to the independence of Algeria, this part of our common history is still little taught: in its report commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron, the historian Benjamin Stora calls for giving more space to the history of France in Algeria in the French school programs. In the meantime, Slate has selected six podcasts for you to better understand the Algerian war and question the traces it left in France today.
“The Algerian war”
One hour watch in hand to summarize French Algeria, from colonization in 1830 to the declaration of independence on 1er July 1962: this is the challenge that the four companions of Culture 2000, a talk-show-style general culture podcast from the Frequence Moderne label. A successful bet, since they manage to retrace the main lines of the Algerian war in a clear and educational way, with just the right amount of detail. An attractive history lesson, accessible from 12 years old.
A peace agreement
“March 18, 1962, the Évian Accords”
After a first failed attempt in 1961, France summoned the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic (GPRA) again to sign a ceasefire in 1962. The meeting took place in Évian-les-Bains, a town on the border with Switzerland. , so that the delegations of the Minister of Algerian Affairs Louis Joxe and the vice-president of the GPRA Krim Belkacem cross paths as little as possible.
In Sensitive Affairs on France Inter, the radiophonic storyteller Fabrice Drouelle retraces the ten days of negotiations which preceded these agreements, in particular around the thorny question of the Pieds-noirs and their fate after independence. A story supplemented by an interview with François Gèze, former publisher and member of the Algeria-Watch association, which perfectly summarizes the major issues of the Évian agreements. Other episodes of the show deal with decolonization and torture, in particular.
At child height
52-62, my childhood in Algeria
René was 10 years old when he had to leave Algeria in 1962 to escape the massacres of the pied-noirs, these Europeans who had settled in the colonized territories of North Africa. Like his parents and grandparents, René only knew Algeria and he has fond memories of it where the happiness of childhood and the atrocities of war are intertwined.
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In 52-62, my childhood in Algeria, documentary in five episodes produced by Slate Podcasts, he recounts his memories of a little boy through the sensory prism, at the microphone of his journalist daughter, Nina Pareja. Smell, sight, hearing, touch and taste: each episode has its memories and its piece of the puzzle to reconstruct life in Algeria in the 1950s. lived 400,000 “repatriated from Algeria”.
The field archives
Here Algiers, Europe n°1
Europe 1 Studio
Created at the beginning of the 1950s, Europe n°1 was a young, dynamic radio station with a well-established style when what were still called “the events of Algeria” began. His signature: reporting from the field. Seventy years later, Europe 1 exhumes the archives of the time to tell this war in a podcast entitled Here Algiers, Europe n°1.
Carried by the voice of reporter Pauline Jacot and rich in incredible reports from the time, this podcast plunges us into the heart of the Algerian war and its media treatment, but does not dwell too much on semantic or historical explanations. The second episode, which questions De Gaulle’s famous speech (“I understood you”), nevertheless demonstrates sufficient pedagogy for neophyte ears.
Paul Max Morin is not one of the 39% of young French people who have a family link with colonizationbut he wrote a thesis on the subject. “I wanted to know if we were still worked on by this story, if we still had something to settle”explains the researcher in the prologue of Algerian Sauce, podcast derived from his thesis and produced for Spotify. In this documentary co-written with Justine Perez and Maxime Ruiz, the researcher interviews six young people, descendants of Pieds-noirs, Algerian Jews, Harkis or even a putschist general.
To try to heal the memorial wound of the Algerian war
“We didn’t experience the war, but we inherited its silences. So this time, we take the floor”, they say in chorus (in a somewhat artificial staging that fortunately does not repeat itself) at the start of the podcast. A good documentary that addresses France’s Algerian heritage and its difficulties in appropriating it, both culturally and politically. We particularly like the prologue and the last episode in the form of a debate.
The war in France
From war to son
In early October 1961, while a policeman killed by the FLN a few days earlier was being buried, police officer Georges Pérache was also a victim of the National Liberation Front. The only problem: this assassination takes place in the heart of Paris, in full view of the French population. It is too much for the prefect of police of Paris Maurice Papon who has a curfew set up which targets the “French Muslims of Algeria”.
On October 17, 200 Algerian demonstrators were killed by the police, thousands of others were injured or rounded up to be forcibly returned to Algeria. Why was Georges Pérache targeted by the FLN? Why did his assassination trigger such a bloodbath? This is what his grandson François Pérache tries to discover in the documentary From war to son, produced in 2016 by Arte Radio. A magnificent intimate and historical podcast that weaves a link between 1961 and the January 2015 attacks in Paris.
To go further on this massacre, Slate suggests the podcast Here we drown the Algerians, the forgotten archives of October 17, 1961 by Tristan Thil for Binge Audio. We told you about it in this article.