On 15 March 1946, the British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, gives an address to the House of Commons in which he emphasises the need for India to gain independence, while outlining the problems involved.
On 3 June 1947, in New Delhi, Lord Mountbatten and the main leaders of India negotiate the partition of that country in accordance with the British plan. From left to right: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Vice-President of the Interim Government; Lord Hastings Ismay, adviser to Lord Mountbatten; Lord Louis Mountbatten, Viceroy of India; and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, ‘Great Leader’ of the All-India Muslim League (AIML).
On 14 June 1947, the German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung considers the implications of India’s political independence and expresses fears of future violence between the Hindu and Muslim communities following the partition of India and Pakistan.
‘Farewell to colonialism!’ In the early 1950s, Berlin-born Dutch cartoonist Fritz Behrendt criticises the Soviet Union’s foreign policy, which aims to take advantage of the wave of decolonisation in Asia and the Middle East to promote communist ideology in these newly independent countries. In a world dominated by two superpowers engaged in a Cold War (the United States and the USSR), Behrendt speculates on the future of the decolonised countries, represented by a group of four people with stereotypical features (an Asian woman, a man with a turban wearing a traditional Indian costume, a black man in a boubou and a Muslim in Bedouin dress). Although these four welcome the permanent departure of the European coloniser (a seemingly British moustachioed man in colonial garb, holding an umbrella, golf clubs and a suitcase), they do not realise that two new characters are already trying to replace the former coloniser. From left to right, Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, wearing a colonial helmet and holding a file with ‘Stalin’ written on the front, and Nikolai Bulganin, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, carrying a backpack with a Soviet flag, try to enter on tiptoes by the back door of the house, which symbolises the newly independent states.
‘In the land of Indo-China, in the farthest reaches of Farther India. Bảo Đại: "They won't dare — because I'm wearing a very diplomatic luxury bathing suit!"' In February 1950, German cartoonist Lang illustrates the communist threat facing Indo-China despite the political and military support offered by France to the Bảo Đại regime.
On 6 May 1953, the US President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, sends this letter to the US Ambassador to France in which he expresses the interest taken by the United States in the Indo-China conflict and confirms US support for France.
On 7 May 1954, the fall of the French military base at Dien Bien Phu accelerates the end of the French colonial era in Indo-China. The day after the French defeat, Ho Chi Minh sends his congratulations to his troops.
On 8 May 1954, the day after the fall of the heavily fortified Dien Bien Phu base, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro leads with the sacrifice of the French soldiers and deplores the attitude of French Communist leaders in the Indo-China war.
On 10 July 1954, as he is about to set off for Geneva to negotiate an end to the hostilities in Indo-China, Pierre Mendès France addresses the citizens of France and outlines his Government’s position.
‘Bill. Carefully-prepared food, made by the successive leaders of the Fourth Republic. 92 000 killed, 114 000 injured, 28 000 prisoners and 3 000 billion spent. We are unable to give credit to our customers. Indo-Chinese soup. Bitter rice.’ In 1954, commenting on the end of the Indo-China War, the French cartoonist, Pinatel, emphasises the immense human and financial cost of the conflict (on the left as a waiter, Pierre Mendès France, French Prime Minister).
Signed on 20 and 21 July 1954 in the presence of the French Prime Minister, Pierre Mendès France, and the British Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, the Geneva Accords bring the Indo-China War to an end.
‘Dien Bien Phu.The two parties wish to base their future diplomatic actions on solid foundations.’ In 1954, the German cartoonist Köhler draws a cynical portrait of the negotiations that are to put an end to hostilities in Indo-China.
Meeting in Geneva on 20 and 21 July 1954, the French, Vietnamese, Soviet, Chinese and US delegates reach a compromise agreement on 21 July 1954 with a view to settling the Indo-China conflict. On 22 July 1954, a proclamation by Ho Chi Minh recalls the various aspects of the agreement.
On 6 March 1946, France recognised the Democratic Republic of Vietnam as a free state within the French Union. The deterioration of relations between the President of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and France led to the start of the Indo-China War. On 7 May 1954, the fall of the fortified camp of Dien Bien Phu signified the end of the war. On 21 July 1954, the Peace Accords were signed in Geneva.
In July 1954, the German daily newspaper Die Welt analyses the tensions existing between France and its protectorates in North Africa and speculates on the possibility of another war of independence in Morocco and Tunisia.
On 19 August 1954, young enthusiasts take to the streets in Tunis holding aloft a banner that demonstrates their gratitude towards the leader of the independence movement, Habib Bourguiba, and Pierre Mendès France, President of the French Council, who granted independence to Tunisia on 31 July 1954.
‘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.
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.
Poster published in 1962 by the daily newspaper L’Humanité, organ of the French Communist Party, denouncing the initiatives of the Secret Army Organisation (OAS) the indulgence of the press (L'Aurore, Le Parisien Libéré) with regard to the movement of supporters of French Algeria. The pointed hood and long tunic are reminiscent of the white supremacists of the Ku Klux Klan, a far-right racist organization in the United States.
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.
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.