France Returned 24 Skulls to Algeria. They Weren’t What They Seemed.
A year ago today the French government decided to return to Algeria 24 human skulls recovered from the remains of Algerian terrorists of World War II. This was done in cooperation with the Algerian government.
Why did the authorities in France return the skulls? That it may be hard to see what happened to them and what to do with them.
France has not said clearly how they found the skulls or where they were from. Why not simply say that the government did not tell or that the skulls were from Algerians? Why did the government return the skulls they had returned? We don’t know but it raises more questions since the Algerian government has said that the human skulls they kept back to Algeria were from victims who had died in the war.
Why are the human remains of Algerian prisoners of war being returned to Algerian territory?
The French government says the repatriation was to help re-establish relations between the countries. However, it seems unlikely these 24 skulls will re-establish relations since France and Algeria have been at war in the Middle East for 60 years. The return of the skulls to Algeria has been strongly criticized by human rights groups in France.
Why were the human remains sent back to Algeria?
The French Foreign Ministry said a French military doctor had found the skulls in Algeria in the “possession of an Algerian relative who had come to France” in a war zone. They were “of an adult male or female, white or black, with no particular characteristics or traits.” They found the skulls “in the possession of a relative of a French Algerian national who had fought in the Algerian War during the Second World War.” The French Foreign Ministry said the Algerian relative of the French man was in Algeria “of his own free will.”
The 24 skulls were taken to the “National Defence Museum of the Algerian War Veterans,” a military complex near Algiers. The Foreign Ministry said it was not possible to discuss the return.
Why was it difficult to see what happened to the skulls?
The French Foreign Ministry