BLIDA-Mujahideen and specialists in Algerian history from the province of Blida, who experienced the joy of Independence on July 5, 1962, said that this day marks a "historic victory" against one of the largest colonial powers of the time, after several years of struggle and fighting.
On the eve of the 59th anniversary of the Independence of Algeria, Mujahideen Maamar Medane and Belkacem Mitidji told APS that "independence was considered by many Algerians as a dream difficult to achieve because of injustices and abuses committed against them by the French colonizer.”
"It was for us the beginning of a new life full of joy, exultation and victory," they said.
Maamar, a former death row in 1957, recalled that on July 5 "the Algerian people, who suffered the worst atrocities, came out of the hell of colonialism to go to heaven.”
"We lived like slaves on our own land and were at the mercy of the colonists who treated us in the worst way. Our life was made of humiliation, racism and misery," he recalled bitterly.
"And, July 5, 1962 was the day when we came back to life," he assured.
Maamar Medane was part of the students condemned for having joined the Revolution after the call made on May 19, 1956. He chose to leave the benches of school Ahmed Senhadji (Bonnier previously) in Blida, to join the Revolution and resistance.
Medane recounted "the torture and abuse he suffered from the French army, 90 days at Haouch Chenou in Blida," while his companions were in the prison of Serkadji and "were dragged hand and foot to the guillotine to be executed.”
The mujaheed also spoke about the hunger strike that he and his companions (nearly 200 prisoners) observed for 13 days in the prison of El Harrach, where he was transferred, after colonial France decided to make them hostages during the Evian negotiations.
This "hunger strike was intended to put pressure on France, to make our voice heard and to say that we were fighting for the independence of our country. We were not outlaws as it claimed," he said, stressing that "independence brought us back to life, we who were waiting for our execution every minute of the day.
Upon his release from prison on May 15, 1962, mujaheed Maamar Medane continued his fight by participating in the battle of development, particularly by getting involved in the mission of education of Algerians, the majority of whom were illiterate.
Mujaheed Belkacem Mitidji, who was also among the students who had joined the Revolution while he was not yet 16 years old, recalled that "the festivities of celebration of independence began in Blida, as soon as the ceasefire was announced on March 19, 1962 with the release of prisoners, which was accompanied by explosions of joy and elation among citizens.
"It was a feeling of joy mixed with exultation, an indescribable moment in terms of the greatness of this historic event," he said.
"Everyone was happy. Housewives prepared bread and offered it to neighbors and relatives, and sewed the national emblem, which invaded the streets and cities by the thousands," recalled the mujaheed
This happiness made Algerians forget "their misery and their difficult living conditions.”
Parades were organized throughout the city of Blida on this occasion, said Mitidji, who was imprisoned a year after joining the Revolution and released on the eve of independence.
The moudjahid also recalled the reaction of families, including mothers who lost their sons during the War of National Liberation and who dice the announcement of the ceasefire, headed to the countryside and the suburbs of cities, where were positioned the Army of the National Liberation Front, to seek their children and relatives who joined the Revolution giving rise to "moving scenes, where sadness was mixed with joy. Some have survived, while others had fallen in battle," he said.