The massacre of Thiaroye in Senegal by the French Army
African soldiers, who fought for France during the Second World War, were killed by the French army on 1st December 1944, in Thiaroye, Senegal. France owed money to African soldiers who fought for them during the Second World War, called "Tirailleurs", meaning riflemen. Several thousand of them were imprisoned by the Nazis on French soil, in the occupied zone, in prison camps called "frontstalags". Some of them managed to escape and joined the 'Resistance' but most remained in captivity for four years.
At the end of the war, camps were liberated and African soldiers wanted to go home. On 5th November 1944, more than 1,600 embarked on a British ship, the "Circassia" in Morlaix, Brittany, heading for Senegal. They will be demobilized there, in Thiaroye camp, before returning to their homes. A quarter of the money owed to African soldiers should have been paid on boarding and the rest on arrival but it never happened and the soldiers refused to leave the camp until the French army settled their debts. It came to an end with their brutal massacre, when the French army decided to kill all the African soldiers in the camp, on 1st December 1944, as they continued standing their ground.
Since, many historians have looked into it and questioned reports of the massacre. The late illustrious filmmaker "Ousmane Sembene" produced a film in 1988 called "Camp de Thiaroye" documenting the events leading up to the Thiaroye massacre, as well as the massacre itself. See the trailer below.
More recently, one of the most renowned French actor, Omar Sy, who came to fame with the French movie "the Untouchables" in 2011, has once again paired up with French film director, Mathieu Vadepied, to release the movie "Tirailleurs", named "Father and Soldier" in English. Omar Sy's father is Senegalese. Continue reading on, to watch the trailer.
This movie resonates with the movie documenting the plea of Algerian soldiers to receive adequate compensation and soldiers pensions for their time serving the French Army during the second world war, up to this date. See trailer below.