Historian Benjamin Stora’s responsibility is “complete” concerning the “historically and politically disgraceful evasion” of official France, which excludes any recognition of the war crimes against humanity committed in Algeria during colonialism (1830-1962), the French political scientist and academic, Olivier Le Cour Grandmaison, said in an interview with the Algerian News Agency “APS”, here on Tuesday.
“If France and President Emmanuel Macron excluded any recognition of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the 130 years of the colonization of Algeria, that is also because the report of the historian Benjamin Stora works in this direction”, he added.
The historian’s statements came as a response to France’s official position, which excluded any form of repentance or apology, following the report on colonialism that Benjamin Stora delivered last Wednesday to the French President.
“In this respect, it is Stora’s responsibility to be complete, because he offers Emmanuel Macron, like all those who refuse to take this necessary approach to show justice, equality and truth. Many arguments to justify once again this historically and politically disgraceful evasion”, Le Cour Grandmaison explained.
“It is part of the continuity of the French policy in this regard, and the program on memory prepared by Stora does not change the matter”, he added, referring to “some modest progress that has been well made to try to hide the continuation of this rejection and give the French president, who will soon be in need to what to exploit in his election campaign”.
“Unlike many countries that recognized the crimes committed during their colonial history, such as Germany, Great Britain and Belgium, the United States of America, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, which also recognized the blatant mistake it committed against the indigenous population, France is characterized by this unacceptable cowardice towards the victims and their descendants, whether they are Algerians or French”.
“This is considered unacceptable to all of these and all those who were recruited in France for decades sometimes to define and acknowledge these crimes that have been denied for a long time, and accordingly, the continuing distinction of memory and historical remembrance that strikes the heirs of the colonial and post-colonial migration whose unique history was taken into account or received little consideration”.
Professor Olivier Le Cour Grandmaison, who holds a master’s degree in history and a postgraduate degree in political science and philosophy, said that this “applies to textbooks, teaching and national public initiatives as well. Finally, as proof of the absence of a museum dedicated to the hexagon of colonial history”.
Regarding the aspect related to the archive classified as a secret-defence, the French political expert considered that ” in this crucial point, as it falls within the framework of freedom of research and basic democratic rights, President Macron shows a remarkable duality”.
“On the one hand, Macron claims to encourage the opening of the archives to the largest possible number of people, and on the other hand, to satisfy the military hierarchy and the most conservative electorate, he is defending the measures in violation of the July 15, 2008 law related to making the archive available and the deadlines for public access to it”, Pr. Le Cour Grandmaison expressed regret at this point.
In this regard, he considered that “these procedures make it impossible, or extremely difficult in any case, to report some documents classified as secret-defence,” which explains, according to him, “the resort of several important associations, researchers and professors to the State Council, on January 15th. 2021, especially the Josette and Maurice Audin Association”.