Emmanuel Macron has "recognized the facts: the crimes committed that night under the authority of Maurice Papon are inexcusable for the Republic", indicates a statement from the Elysee, referring to the one who was at the time of the facts Paris police prefect.
The President of the Republic participated on Saturday in an official ceremony for the 60th anniversary of the massacre of Algerians committed on October 17, 1961.
The Elysee press release was released just after the ceremony held on the banks of the Seine, near the Bezons bridge, borrowed 60 years ago by Algerian demonstrators who arrived from the neighboring slum of Nanterre at the call of the FLN branch based in France.
This is the first time that a French president has visited the scene of the massacre, the death toll of which is estimated by historians at at least several dozen, the official record only counting three.
"France looks at its entire history with lucidity"
“Nearly 12,000 Algerians were arrested and transferred to sorting centers at the Coubertin stadium, the Sports Palace and other places.
In addition to many wounded, several dozen were killed, their bodies thrown into the Seine.
Many families have never found the remains of their loved ones, who disappeared that night, ”the French presidency recalled on Saturday.
By evoking “crimes”, Emmanuel Macron, who observed a minute of silence and laid a wreath on the banks of the Seine, thus went further than the “bloody repression” admitted by François Hollande in 2012.
“France looks at its entire history with lucidity and recognizes the clearly established responsibilities.
She owes it first and foremost to herself, to all those whom the Algerian war and its procession of crimes committed on all sides have bruised in their flesh and in their soul ”, adds the official press release of the Elysee.
Tears and a tribute
Emmanuel Macron, the first French president born after the Algerian War ended in 1962, spoke on the spot with relatives of the victims, some of whom were in tears.
"Live bullets occurred at this location and bodies were recovered from the Seine," the Elysee said on Friday to explain the choice of this place of commemoration.
According to the Elysee, the Head of State "pays tribute to the memory of all the victims" of a "tragedy long killed, denied or hidden".
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Massacre of October 17, 1961: "The police threw Algerians dead, knocked out or still alive in the Seine"