– CBS Radio – Algeria Aflame – October 4, 1957 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Continuing our month-long listen to some of the milestone radio documentaries from the 1950s to the 1970’s, another one from CBS Radio – this time it’s Algeria Aflame, the story of the ongoing civil war between Rebels and the French Army in the colonial nation of Algeria. This was a story that would be repeated numerous times all through the 1950s, as former colonies broke with those countries who possessed them either by peaceful means or by violence. An important decolonization war, it was a complex conflict characterized by guerrilla warfare and the use of torture. The conflict also became a civil war between the different communities and within the communities. The war took place mainly on the territory of Algeria, with repercussions in metropolitan France.
Starting in November of 1954 and continuing until 1962, when France finally granted Algeria independence. Upon independence in 1962, 900,000 European-Algerians (Pieds-noirs) fled to France within a few months in fear of the National Liberation Front’s revenge. The French government was unprepared to receive such a vast number of refugees, which caused turmoil in France. The majority of Algerian Muslims who had worked for the French were disarmed and left behind, as the agreement between French and Algerian authorities declared that no actions could be taken against them. However, the Harkis in particular, having served as auxiliaries with the French army, were regarded as traitors and many were murdered by the National Liberation Front (FLN )or by lynch mobs,
This documentary covers the first three years of the conflict, while others were produced as the war continued up until 1962. This one was the first.
Here is Algeria Aflame from CBS Radio News, as it was broadcast on October 10, 1957.
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