a1 University of Leeds
a2 University of East Anglia
In the General Introduction and Conclusion to our book, Paris 1961: Algerians, state terror, and memory, we argue that the time has come to move beyond the current phase of political battle, the fixed-position trench warfare, over the events of ‘17 October’ for a more open history that can begin to address some wider and more fruitful questions. At the core of the polemic during the last decade has been the almost obsessive ‘battle of numbers’ that has raged between the maximalist Jean-Luc Einaudi (200–300+ deaths at the hands of the police) and the minimalist Jean-Paul Brunet (at most 30–50 deaths, but only 13 conclusively ‘proven’). In replying to Jean-Paul Brunet, we shall discuss two substantive issues: the nature of the evidence and its interpretation, and inevitably the question of the number of fatalities.