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  #1  
Old 19 Aug 14, 18:49
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Kabyles in the French Resistance

Firstly, here is a small background on the Kabyle people,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabyle_people

The following is taken from The Grand Mosque of Paris, A story of how Jews rescued Muslims from the Holocaust, by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSalix,

"The Kabyles who fought in the French resistance had two advantages, The first was their language. Nobody but Kabyles spoke or understood it. They were able to form a tight network and use Kabyle as a kind of code. Dr Somia** said, You could confide a secret to a Kabyle and rest absolutely assured that it would not be betrayed

The second advantage was the fact that the Kabyles were Muslim. When they wore the traditional tasseled wool felt hat-called a checheya or a fez-it signaled that they were Muslim, and so they were less likely to be stopped by the Nazis. This also made the checheya a perfect disguise for Jews.

Kabyles operated a secret network that smuggled people out of Paris to safety, they also carried coded messages between the resistance in France and the Free French Army in Algeria. Their smuggling operation was initially devised to aid escaped POWs, and Allied pilots and parachutists in hiding. However as the war went on, the Kabyles began to smuggle more and more Jewish men, women, and children away from danger. "


**Dr Somia is irt Dr. Ahmed Somia, a Tunisian man who in secrecy, helped to treat Allied pilots who were shot down as well as helping Allied spies, as well as assisting youngsters in France who were at risk of arrest by the SS/collaborators during WW2 in France.

Any here with additional information on the Kabyles involvement in the French resistance would be appreciated.
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Last edited by Taieb el-Okbi; 19 Aug 14 at 18:59..
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  #2  
Old 19 Aug 14, 23:54
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Well I must admit this is rather new to me. I've heard of the Kabyles before, and know only a little of their history, but their role in the Resistance is new to me. I'll have to look into it some more.

On the other hand, when I grew up we were taught a little about, and I learned more of later, of the Harkis. These were people who were mostly aligned with France during and after WW 2. During the Algerian debacle, the Harkis sided mostly with France. I actually met a veteran Harkis in the southern town of Rodez where he was finally able to settle with his family after leaving Algeria. Really nice guy who had a nice selection of medals he earned on display in a frame hung prominently on a wall of his dinning room. He hated the FLN with a passion. The Harkis were incredible fighters.
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  #3  
Old 20 Aug 14, 01:06
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Mon cher Asterix,

Harkis were North African irregular fighters much like the Partisans and Suppletifs of the Indochina War. Often, they were captured FLN fighters with a previous history in the French Army who volunteered to return to French service. Thus they were distinct from the Algerian draftees and regulars who served in Army of (North) Africa units. The term Harki is derived from Harka, Arabic for a military operation.

Henry-Jean Loustau's book Guerre en Kabylie covers the Harki units raised by the 2nd Bn, 1st RIMA in his sector (Palestro).

The 3rd RPIMa recruited Harkis into a separate parachute company. I have a 1985 edition of its Historique and listed among the unit members killed in action are Para 2e Cl. Bougheddaoui, KIA at Ait Aziz (1958); Para 2nd Cl. Ait Abdelmalek, KIA at El Milia; CAL (?) El Quslate, KIA Region Moliere, and Harki Yanes, also KIA in Region Moliere (all 1959); CAL Ait Challat, died of wounds; and Harkis Begdaoui and Djebri, both KIA at Oued Fodda (1960),
There were also some Vietnamese listed among their dead for Algeria. But the real point is that the 3rd RPIMa considered both Harkis and Arab or Kabyl regulars to be full fledged members of the regiment.

I wasn't able to find anything specific in the History of the Army of Africa regarding resistance activities of North African troops, but Maurice Rives and Eric Deroo's "Les Linh Tap; Histoire des militaires cochinchinois au service de la France" detail the presence of Indochinese troops and workers among the Resistance, so the participation of Kabyls or Arabs would not surprise me.
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Last edited by lirelou; 20 Aug 14 at 01:19..
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Old 23 Aug 14, 12:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taieb el-Okbi View Post
The following is taken from The Grand Mosque of Paris, A story of how Jews rescued Muslims from the Holocaust, by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSalix,

...

Any here with additional information on the Kabyles involvement in the French resistance would be appreciated.
I don't know much about the alleged participation of Kabyles in the Résistance, but there is something I know that might be of relevance.

I.e.:
- that the book you are quoting from was written by two authors of children's books,
- that there is a difference between "history" and "a story";
- that a reputable literary review has to say about the book that the authors themselves 'admit that "many of the details are destined to remain forever uncertain, with few facts proven to a historian's satisfaction"'
http://www.amazon.com/The-Grand-Mosq.../dp/0823423042;
- that while this is a nice story, the issue of whether the mosque of Paris actually did anything to help the Resistance or the Jews was discussed in previous threads in this same forum, ad abundantiam.
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Old 23 Aug 14, 12:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
I don't know much about the alleged participation of Kabyles in the Résistance, but there is something I know that might be of relevance.

I.e.:
- that the book you are quoting from was written by two authors of children's books,
- that there is a difference between "history" and "a story";
- that a reputable literary review has to say about the book that the authors themselves 'admit that "many of the details are destined to remain forever uncertain, with few facts proven to a historian's satisfaction"'
http://www.amazon.com/The-Grand-Mosq.../dp/0823423042;
- that while this is a nice story, the issue of whether the mosque of Paris actually did anything to help the Resistance or the Jews was discussed in previous threads in this same forum, ad abundantiam.
Ding. I was hoping you'd be back to shine a light on this again. You did a excellent job of dispelling the bs that erupted last time. +1
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  #6  
Old 24 Aug 14, 14:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
I don't know much about the alleged participation of Kabyles in the Résistance,



Thats why I created this thread.

Even if its not much, can you provide any information about Kabyles in the French resistance?
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Last edited by Taieb el-Okbi; 24 Aug 14 at 14:25..
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