ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: The Daily Slaughter in Algeria.

Weekly Note from Volume X, No 18, May 3, 1958

Among the stranger peculiarities of our times is the calm and unconcern, comparatively speaking, with which the world accepts the daily toll of life in Algeria. The infinitely fewer casualties of the Hungarian revolt drove, not only the ulteriorly interested United States, but even the comparative neutralists to near-frenzy. The Korean tragedy caught the world’s fancy with a much smaller loss of human life. The far smaller death-rolls of the Malayan and Kenyan insurrections made a much greater impact on international opinion. But Algeria – a real case of daily slaughter, if ever there was one – is taken as stoically for granted as bad weather.

It interests the world, of course. But only as a “problem”, as a political tangle, as a case of colonialism, not as an odious issue of human butchery. Over 80,000 Algerian nationalists are officially admitted by France to have been killed in this most gruesome of colonialist wars so far; but even this appalling admission has done little to increase the world’s awareness of the human aspect of this tragedy. When newspapers think of Algeria, they still think of the French rupture with Tunisia, of the fall of M Gaillard’s Gover nment, of t he f ailure of t he Anglo-Amer ican mediation team, but hardly ever of the constantly mounting pile of corpses in the streets of Algiers.

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