A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, November 1, 2013

59 Years Ago Today: The Algerian Revolutrion Begins: "Toussaint Rouge," 1954

The attacks on Toussaint Rouge
November 1, All Saints Day in the Catholic Tradition (remember that Halloween the night before means "All Hallowd' Eve") in 1954 marks the traditional beginning of the bloody, intense, and difficult War of Algerian Independence or, in Algerian terms, te\he Algerian Revolution. Coming six months or so after Dien Ben Phu, it was the second and mosimportant body blow to France's colonial empire. To French and Algerians both the day is remembered as Toussaint Rouge,"red All Saint's Day," for the blood that was shed that day.

The choice of the date was apparently no coincidence. The pieds noirs or European settler population (not just French but from around the Mediterranean) were largely Catholic. It was the opening blow lf the long and agonsizing Algerian war. A French documentary with film here, but not embeddable.

Here are some illustrations from this site, also the source of the map above.

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