In May 1945, the Algerian nationalist leader, Ferhat Abbas, issues a warning to France in which he condemns the country’s colonial policy. He asks the French Government to raise the status of colonised countries to ‘associated countries’ and to guide them to independence.
At the second National Congress of the Democratic Union of the Algerian Manifesto (UDMA), the Algerian nationalist leader and General Secretary of the UDMA, Ferhat Abbas, presents a report entitled ‘The colonial regime is the negation of justice and civilisation’ in which he strongly condemns the colonialist policies of the European powers.
On 1 November 1954, the uprising in the Aurès mountains marks the beginning of the Algerian War. On 1 June 1958, General de Gaulle returns to power. On 18 March 1962, the Evian Accords mark the end of the war. On 3 July 1962, France recognises Algeria’s independence.
In a note dated March 1955, the leadership of the Algerian National Movement (MNA) harshly condemns French imperialism in Algeria and accuses France of violating the democratic freedoms of the Algerian people, including freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom to vote and personal freedom.
On 24 March 1955, the Algerian General Directorate for National Security (DGSN) sends the Chief Superintendent, head of the General Intelligence branch of the police for the district of Algiers, a tract issued by the National Liberation Front (FLN), an Algerian political movement leading the struggle for Algeria’s independence from France. The tract announces that the armed wing of the FLN, the National Liberation Army (ALN), will be taking action against French colonialist forces to try to win back independence for Algeria.
On 15 April 1955, the Prefecture of Algiers issues a decree ordering all police officers in the département of Algiers to confiscate the tract by the Algerian National Movement (MNA) entitled ‘Local elections on 17 April 1955 — Statement by the Algerian National Movement’. The French authorities consider that the sentiment expressed in the tract is liable to undermine the internal and external security of the state. This MNA tract, which emphasises the armed struggle against the French coloniser, calls on the people of Algeria to stay away from the polling stations during the local elections.
In June 1955, the general report by the task force for financial relations between mainland France and Algeria (known as the Maspétiol Report) is submitted to the French Government. Having conducted an analysis of Algeria’s finances, the task force estimates the investments needed to resolve the country’s economic difficulties.
On 18 June 1955, a pro-independence tract calls on Algerians to give up smoking in protest at French repression. The aim is to show solidarity with the patriots who are fighting for Algerian independence and to reduce France’s income from the duty on tobacco.
On 28 April 1956, a tract from the Algerian National Movement (MNA) and National Liberation Army (ALN) entitled ‘Algerians!’ is sent to Paris by post to some Muslims from the French mainland who are being forced to live in the Berrouaghia accommodation centre. The tract calls for the liberation of the Algerian homeland and the unity of the Algerian people in their fight against French colonial oppression.
In June 1956, the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) issues a tract entitled ‘5 July 1830—5 July 1956’, in which it calls on the Algerian people to continue their struggle against the French colonial power and to observe a full strike on 5 July 1956 in solidarity with those who are fighting and dying for the cause of a free Algeria.
In a tract for the Algerian people dated May 1957, the National Liberation Front (FLN) describes the development of the Algerian armed struggle against the French occupation, particularly focusing on the inevitable defeat of French colonialism.
On 5 September 1957, the French daily newspaper Le Monde reports on a statement by Ferhat Abbas in which he denies the influence of communism on the National Liberation Front (FLN). He affirms that the FLN’s weapons all come from the West and emphasises the FLN’s commitment to finding a peaceful solution with France.
On 16 December 1957, the Departmental General Intelligence Service for Orléansville intercepts two typed tracts from the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) which call on French and foreign soldiers in the French forces not to obey their superiors and to stop fighting.
On 27 and 28 April 1958, during the conference on Maghreb unity taking place from 27 to 30 April 1958 in Tangier, the French daily newspaper Le Monde analyses the attitudes of the representatives of Istiqlal (Morocco), Neo Destour (Tunisia) and the National Liberation Front (Algeria).
On 2 May 1958, the French External Documentation and Counter-Intelligence Department (SDECE) reports on the conference on Maghreb unity that took place from 27 to 30 April 1958 in Tangier. In the midst of the Algerian conflict, this conference was attended by representatives of Istiqlal (Morocco), Neo Destour (Tunisia) and the National Liberation Front (FLN, Algeria). The minutes show Morocco and Tunisia exerting pressure on France to settle the Algerian question as quickly as possible while attempting to reduce Egypt’s influence on the FLN.
Following the conference on Maghreb unity which took place from 27 to 30 April 1958 in Tangier and was attended by representatives of Istiqlal (Morocco), Neo Destour (Tunisia) and the National Liberation Front (FLN, Algeria), the French External Documentation and Counter-Intelligence Department (SDECE) summarises the international reactions to the outcome of the conference.
On 20 June 1958, the French daily newspaper Le Monde reports on the Maghreb Conference held from 18 to 20 June 1958 in Tunis, at which the Tunisian, Moroccan and Algerian delegations attempted to secure a common position with regard to France and the Algerian question.
On 22 and 23 June 1958, the French daily newspaper Le Monde reports on the Tunis conference, held from 18 to 20 June 1958 in a bid to harmonise the positions of Istiqlal (Morocco), Neo Destour (Tunisia) and the National Liberation Front (Algeria) following the return to power of General de Gaulle. At the conference, the delegations decided to take joint diplomatic action to reach a peaceful settlement to the Algerian conflict.
On 20 December 1958, the French daily newspaper Le Monde outlines and analyses the attitude of Krim Belkacem, Vice-President and Minister for the Armed Forces of the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic. The Provisional Government (GPRA), founded on 19 September 1958, was the political and governmental wing of the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN).
‘An interminable year in Algeria — 1958: “Follow me, I’ll lead you …” 1959: “… to our goal.”’ In 1959, Ernst Maria Lang, German cartoonist, condemns the absurdity of the war of Algeria and criticises the policy pursued by General de Gaulle.
On 3 January 1959, in a column in the French daily newspaper Le Monde, the French journalist and writer Alfred Fabre-Luce looks back on the political achievements of the year 1958 in France. Although he welcomes the return to power of General de Gaulle in May 1958, Alfred Fabre-Luce is opposed to Algerian independence.
On 19 June 1959, the Commander-in-Chief of the Algerian forces analyses the permeability of a non-peaceful Algeria to communism. To deal with this threat, he recommends the suppression of the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the economic, social and human transformation of Algeria.
On 1 December 1959, the General Delegation of the French Government in Algeria sends French Prime Minister Michel Debré a file containing a memorandum and a draft statement on the application of the Treaty of Rome to Algeria, as well as a series of statistics on economic data concerning Algeria and the Sahara.
Referring to the war in Algeria, the German cartoonist, Fritz Behrendt, illustrates the uncomfortable position of General de Gaulle, President of the French Republic, in the light of the opposition between the Algerian nationalists (right) and the defenders of French Algeria, members of the Secret Army Organisation (OAS).
When the French President, Charles de Gaulle, gives a radio and television broadcast on 29 January 1960, Algiers is in the middle of a revolution. In line with a large segment of the French public, the Head of State condemns the Algerian uprising.
On 5 November 1960, the German cartoonist, Herbert Kolfhaus, illustrates the absurdity of the war in Algeria and considers the untenable position of Charles de Gaulle, President of the French Republic, faced by the political and military imbroglio of the Algerian conflict.
On 11 December 1960, during French President Charles de Gaulle’s visit to Algeria, members of the CRS (State Security Police) keep a close watch on a demonstration in favour of an Independent Algeria taking place in the Belcourt district of Algiers.
On 26 January 1961, at the request of the General Delegate of the French Government in Algeria, the Prefecture of Algiers asks the Chief Superintendent in the General Intelligence Service to carry out an enquiry to determine how many families have left Algeria to live in France or abroad since the start of the rebellion.
On 13 April 1961, the General Intelligence Service for Algiers drafts a note on the enquiry to determine how many families have left Algeria to move to France or abroad between the start of the rebellion and 1 February 1961. The departments in charge of the enquiry emphasise the practical difficulties that have prevented them from establishing a detailed list of people leaving for Greater Algiers.
On 27 June 1961, the Movement for the Community publishes an article in which it criticises the position of the FLN (National Liberation Front) during the Évian negotiations and emphasises that coexistence between communities is ultimately the only way for the future Algerian state to guarantee its authority on solid foundations.
On 20 April 1961, the Departmental General Intelligence Service for Algiers reports on the distribution of a tract by the Secret Army Organisation (OAS) in the streets of Algiers calling on Muslims to join those who are fighting for France and French Algeria.
On 28 May 1961, General Raoul Salan, a former civilian and military commander in Algeria and supporter of French Algeria who went into hiding after the failed Algiers putsch, announces that he will be leading a movement for national revival and calls on all ‘patriots’ to join him in the struggle for French Algeria.
On 29 June 1961, the Secret Army Organisation (OAS), a French political and military underground organisation fighting to maintain French Algeria, issues a tract in which it criticises the Évian talks and the French Government’s policy in Algeria. The OAS calls for the foundations of the democratic institutions of the Fifth Republic to be dismantled and for a return to the values of the homeland and the nation, the only way it believes French Algeria can be saved.
On 27 July 1961, the Secret Army Organisation, a French political and military underground organisation set up on 11 February 1961 to defend France’s presence in Algeria, issues a tract outlining the reasons for its fight and emphasising how important it is to preserve French Algeria.
On 1 September 1961, the Secret Army Organisation, a French political and military underground organisation that is using all possible means to defend France’s presence in Algeria, issues a tract in which it strongly criticises General de Gaulle’s policy in Algeria. The OAS accuses de Gaulle of betraying the French army by opening negotiations with Algerian proponents of independence.
On 17 September 1961, the Secret Army Organisation (OAS), a French political and military underground organisation, issues a tract in which it strongly criticises what it sees as the collusion of Algerian nationalist movements with communist ideology. The OAS calls on both Europeans in Algeria and Muslims to enlist in the OAS to fight against the danger of communism in North Africa and to defend French Algeria.
On 3 November 1961, to mark the eighth anniversary of its struggle for independence in Algeria, the Chief of Staff of the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the National Liberation Army (ALN) distributes a tract to the Algerian people which emphasises the ALN’s commitment to a free and independent Algeria and insists that victory is at hand.
On 20 March 1962, during an extraordinary session of the National Assembly, French MPs and Senators note the statements made by the President of the Republic, Charles de Gaulle, and by the Government following the signing of the Evian Accords on Algeria.
On 20 March 1962, the National Assembly meets in extraordinary session to debate the Evian Accords signed two days earlier which declare a ceasefire in Algeria and the organisation of a referendum on the future of the French département and grant full powers to the Government.
This report by journalists Euloge Boissonnade and Jean-Pierre Farkas, broadcast on 20 March 1962 on Radio Luxembourg, describes the situation in the streets of Oran and Algiers the day after the signing of the Évian Accords, which provided for Algerian independence, on 19 March 1962.
On 23 March 1962, Louis Joxe, French Minister for Algerian Affairs, broadcasts an address on the radio in order to clarify the substance of the Franco-Algerian Accords signed in Évian five days previously as well as the future outlook for Algeria.
On 26 March 1962, in a radio and television broadcast, the French President, Charles de Gaulle, urges the population to support the French Government’s Algerian policy and endorse the ceasefire and self-determination in Algeria.
The separatist Algerian political leader Ferhat Abbas shakes the hand of a combatant in the National Liberation Army (ALN) in Sétif on 28 June 1962. Ferhat Abbas founded the Democratic Union of the Algerian Manifesto (UDMA), which was incorporated into the National Liberation Front (FLN) during the Algerian War. He served as President of the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic from 1958 to 1961, then was elected President of the National Constituent Assembly of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (1962–1963).
The arrival of Algerian nationalist leader Ahmed Ben Bella on 4 August 1962 at the préfecture in Algiers. After the proclamation of Algerian independence on 18 March 1962, Ahmed Ben Bella — one of the founders of the Revolutionary Committee for Unity and Action (CRUA), which developed into the National Liberation Front (FLN) — became the first President of the Council of Ministers (1962–1963), then the first President of the Republic of Algeria (1963–1965).