Algerian People's Party (in French, Parti du Peuple Algerien PPA),
was a successor organization of the
North African Star
North African Star (Étoile
Nord-Africaine), led by veteran Algerian nationalist Messali Hadj. It
was formed on March 11, 1937. In 1936, the Etoile Nord Africaine
(ENA), its predecessor, had joined the French Front Populaire, a
coalition of French leftist political parties in power at the time.
The relationship lasted a bit over six months. The Front Populaire
dissolved the ENA in January 1937, hence the creation of the PPA two
months later. Despite using peaceful methods of protest, the group's
members were constantly pursued by the police in
France and banned by
French colonial authorities in Algeria. From 1938 until 1946, it
operated as a clandestine organization. However, it had only moderate
activities during World War II. There was also great hope that Algeria
would be rewarded for its help in liberating
France from the Germans,
but in May 1945, the events of the
Sétif and Guelma massacre
Sétif and Guelma massacre ended
Early May 1945, Pierre Gazagne, secretary of the general government
headed by Yves Chataigneau, took advantage of his absence to exile
Messali Hadj and to arrest the leaders of the PPA. The PPA was
reconstituted October 1946 under the name Mouvement pour le Triomphe
des Libertes Democratiques (MTLD)
A few ex-PPA members, having decided that freedom could only be
acquired through military means, created the Organization Speciale
(OS) while loosely maintaining membership in the MTLD. The OS sought
the support of all the different Algerian political organizations to
create the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) after launching the
Algerian War of Independence
Algerian War of Independence in 1954.
Messali Hadj had completely lost
control of the movement in a process that began more than two years
earlier when he refused to compromise with the mainstream in the MTLD.
In 1955, he created his own so-called resistance group, by the name of
Algerian National Movement (Mouvement National Algérien)(MNA).
Supported by the French, it was marginalized during the eight years of
war, attacked and destroyed by the FLN both in Algeria and during the
"café wars" in France.
^ Extraits de l’entretien d’Annie Rey-Goldzeiguer avec Christian
Makarian et Dominique Simonnet, publié dans l’Express du 14 mars
2002, on the LDH website (in French)
Nationalism and resistance in Algeria
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