October 17, 1961
At least 40 and possibly more than 200 Algerian demonstrators are killed by the French National Police
Pro-National Liberation Front demonstrators gathered Neuilly Bridge. Recently, the National Liberation Front had increased its bombing in France which brought resentment from the French police towards the demonstrators.
The French National Police assembled and fired into the crowd. Others were drowned in the river to taken to be tortured. During a trial over 30 years later, Jean-Luc Einaudi testified:
“During the night, a massacre took place in the courtyard of the police headquarters, killing tens of victims. In the Palais des Sports, then in the ‘Palais des Expositions of Porte de Versailles’, detained Algerians, many by now already injured, [became] systematic victims of a ‘welcoming committee’. In these places, considerable violence took place and prisoners were tortured. Men would be dying there until the end of the week. Similar scenes took place in the Coubertin stadium… The raids, violence and drownings would be continued over the following days. For several weeks, unidentified corpses were discovered along the banks of the river. The result of the massacre may be estimated to at least 200 dead.”
The head of police, Maurice Papon, was convicted in 1998 for crimes against humanity for ordering the massacre. Officially, France recognizes 40 victims of the massacre, though as Einaudi testified the number of victims likely surpassed 200.
(The graffiti on the wall reads “here we drown Algerians.”)