The 75th Remembrance Day of the French Massacre of 8th May 1945 in Algeria

The 75th Remembrance Day of the French Massacre of 8th May 1945 in Algeria

Algerian Community News Updates أخبار الجالية الجزائرية



The 75th Remembrance Day of the French Massacre of 8th May 1945 in Algeria.

May 8th, 1945 when France smears its history with the blood of the Algerians.

My eighth day of May has prepared for us a terrible memory in which my tears lavished. “By God, you were like a windy storm or like a thunderbolt in it there was a clap.”[9]

Sheikh Al-Bashir Al-Ibrahimi [1], may Allah have mercy on him, commenting on the massacres of the eighth of May, “Oh day … you have an indelible character in our souls, and an unforgettable  day in  our memory, so what year do you want, then you are on May the 8th and it is enough, and all your debt we have to live Your memory, and all that we have to do is write your history in the rituals, so that forgetfulness does not erase it from our souls.”

Today, history stands to open a window for painful stations that the memory refuses to forget, a day that was not many hours, but numbers of martyrs whose lives were narrowed in that morning, the heartache of the bereaved nation and the betrayed truth, a day when the pure blood from a peaceful, defenceless people came out celebrating VE Day  (Victory in Europe Day) [2], promised a sea which was an illuminated lie that the occupation does not lead to a paradise without return, and the mountains received the neighbourhoods as convoys, and the bottom of which was a burial place for them, Setif, Guelma, and Kherata. Thousands of the sons of this alluring country were victims of genocide, arson, and torture by the French occupation, widowed women, orphaned children, displaced families, and many who could not describe their suffering in a few lines”.

What prompted France to commit the 8th May 1945 massacre?

1) The activity of the expanding Algerian national movement amid the hysteria of panic and fear that the French occupation was grappling with in terms of the national movement, which included some of the Algerian people and began to spread slowly and slowly, represented by the Algerian Party of Ahabab Al Bayan and Al Huriya (The Friends of the Manifesto and Liberty )[3], this organization that started to operate since January 1945 and calls on the Algerian people to get around more about the statement demanding:  “cancelling  for the mixed municipalities system “and making” Arabic the official language “, and” calling for the release of the Algerian Masali Al-Hajj [4]” at the time.

2) False promise

Among the reasons that made the French occupation submit to the massacres of May 8th, 1945 without return is its full awareness of the Algerian people’s demand for their freedom. France used Algerian sons as protective human shields in World War II after they had promised them to grant them complete Independence in exchange for their participation in its war against the Germans.

3) Celebrations of the end of the World War and the peaceful demonstrations As a result of the Allies ’victory over Nazism and standing on a false French promise, celebrations spread throughout most of the Algerian homeland, starting from May 1st, 1945, with the preparation of the national movement and the awareness of the people of their demands and desire for independence. The French occupation raised arms against people who defeated its guilt that it crimes was to wish for freedom and to raise the national flag by which it drew the dream of the free and desired country, to wake up to the massacres.

4) The city of Setif and the Date of Certification May 8th, 1945 On May 8th, the Algerians went out celebrating the victory of democracy over the dictatorship with joy. The city of Sétif was among the cities that witnessed the largest gatherings as it contains the headquarter of the Algerian Party of Ahabab Al Bayan  wa Al Huriya (The Friends of the Manifesto and Liberty ). The patriot, Saal Bouzid [5] was to be the first martyr to fall in its arenas and his soul overflowing with the sky, announcing the beginning of a bloody day that lifted the cover over the intention of the French occupation, which began to massacre with all barbarity without mercy or compassion.

5) Are the massacres of the 8th May 1945 counted in numbers?

In his book “Night of Colonialism”, Farhat Abbas [6], may Allah have mercy on him, describes the beginning of the massacres, saying: Setif witnessed a similar march in which about 4 thousand farmers walked. Such demonstrations were a serious warning that the weather was charged with the hurricane, but public security officials did not give the slightest consideration to it. The important thing was that the authorities authorized a more important demonstration on May 8, and so was the trap.

The procession formed from Setif train station near the new mosque and headed towards the city. The police were surrounding the march that advanced about a thousand meters, raising the Algerian flag, but as soon as the peaceful march arrived opposite the Grand Café of France in the city centre, the governor of the front row police raided and tried to destroy the flag from one of the demonstrators. But the militant resisted him, so the policeman opened fire, causing one death i.e Saal Bouzid and a number of wounded. Thus the Intifada broke out, the French occupation practiced repression, the policy of mass killing and throwing of the sons of the Algerian nation from the highest mountains in Kherata to their deaths and ravaged young and old neighbourhoods and arrested the politicians from them and killed them in the most horrific ways.

Massacres do not provide humanity with a link that has claimed the lives of more than 45,000 martyrs, villages destroyed and unexploded remains, for which France has mobilized all its land, sea and air forces to make it a bloody day against a defenceless people who believed in their cause.

The 75th Remembrance Day of the massacres passes May 8, 1945, and the memory has not forgotten and stands, confirming the words of Imam Al-Bashir Al-Ibrahimi May Allah mercy be on him, “If the history of France was written with pens of light, then at the end of it, it will write this shameful chapter titled the massacres of Sétif which will obliterate all their history.” The mourning remains in the souls whenever we pass the memorial or carry our steps to the hometown of the martyr Saal Bouzid stopping you a sign that marked the massacres to open the door of memory on the day when the homeland bends to honour the souls of its heroes, and the sun sets ashamed of those souls, and the flag flutters tall.

In state address at the occasion of the 8th May 1945, the late president Abdelaziz Bouteflika said in a speech published by state media marking the 60th anniversary of the repression of pro-independence demonstrators under French colonial rule as Europeans celebrate the end of the Second World War in Europe:

“The paradox of the massacres of 8 May 1945, is that when the heroic Algerian combatants returned from the fronts in Europe, Africa and elsewhere where they defended France’s honour and interests … the French administration fired on peaceful demonstrators” [7] Finally, in February 2005, Hubert Colin de Verdiére , France’s ambassador to Algeria, formally apologised for the massacre, calling it an “inexcusable tragedy”, in what was described as “The most explicit comments by the French state on the massacre”. [7]




[3] The Friends of the Manifesto and Liberty (French: Amis du Manifeste et de la Liberté, AML) was a political movement in French Algeria.

The party was founded in March 1944 by Ferhat Abbas in order to publicize and defend the Manifesto of the Algerian People.[1] Its demands included equal rights for the Muslim population and an autonomous Algeria federated with France.

The party provide to be one of the most successful parties in Algerian history, gaining hundreds of thousands of members and the support of the banned Algerian People’s Party and the Association of Algerian Muslim Scholars. However, French officials refused to speak the party and used the Sétif disturbances of May 8, 1945 as a pretext for dissolving it and arresting Ferhat Abbas.




[8] “Night of Colonialism” , 1962 1978, Farhat Abbas [8]


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