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France. Emmanuel Macron at the 60th anniversary of the Algerian massacre: the unforgivable crime of the Republic

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President Emmanuel Macron described the reactions of the French services to pacify the Algerian demonstrations in Paris in 1961, demanding the independence of Algeria, in which dozens of demonstrators were killed, as “the unforgivable crime of the Republic”. Macron was the first French president to attend an official ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the massacre. He paid tribute to the victims on the banks of the Seine, at the height of the Bezons Bridge, and spoke to their relatives.


“The crimes committed that night under Maurice Papon are unforgivable for the Republic,” wrote a press release for the Elysee Palace.

Macron was the first president to attend the official ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the massacre of the Algerians on October 17, 1961 in Paris. The president spoke to the relatives of the victims, paying tribute to them on the banks of the Seine, at the height of the Bezons Bridge.

60 years ago, Algerian demonstrators protested against the ban on Algerians from leaving their homes after 8:30 pm. On that day, police and services brutally pacified the demonstrators and the bodies of the victims were thrown into the Seine.

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“Nearly 12,000 Algerians have been arrested and transferred to camps at Coubertin Stadium, the Sports Palace and elsewhere,” the press release said.

Many families have never found the remains of their loved ones. Historians estimate the number of people killed as a result of the massacre at several dozen, and the official number of victims is only three.

President Emmanuel Macron laid a wreath on the Bezons Bridge and honored the victims of the 1961 pacification of AlgeriansPAP / EPA / Rafael Yaghobzadeh / POOL

Macron “found the facts to be crimes unforgivable for the Republic”

In 2012, then-president Francois Hollande condemned “bloody repression.” Macron went on, commentators comment, because he “found the facts to be crimes unforgivable for the Republic.”

The president laid a wreath on Bezons Bridge and honored the victims with a minute’s silence. “We made more progress in a few months than in 60 years,” says historian Benjamin Stora, who prepared a report on the effects of colonization and the war in Algeria (1954-62).

On Saturday, left-wing politicians, including Alexis Corbiere of Untamed France and communist Fabien Roussel, asked that the Algerian massacre should be considered a “state crime”. Far-right leader Marine Le Pen has criticized “these repetitive and unbalanced regrets”, arguing that Macron belittles France while “Algeria insults us every day”.

A series of events commemorating the victims of Algerians fighting for their country’s independence is scheduled for Sunday in the Seine-Saint-Denis department.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / Rafael Yaghobzadeh / POOL

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