Henri Alleg

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Alleg, Henri


(pseudonym of Henri Jean Salem). Born July 20, 1921, in London. Algerian writer and publicist. Member of the party of the socialist avant-garde of Algeria. Manager of the newspaper Alger Républicain, 1950–55. Participant in the Algerian revolution.

Alleg was arrested on June 12, 1957, by the French military authorities. He told of the horrors of the imperialists’ torture chambers and of the courage and determination of the Algerian prisoners in his documentary narratives The Interrogation (1958; Russian translation, 1958), Prisoners of War (1961; Russian translation, 1962), and My Little Breton Pal (1962; Russian translation, 1962). On Oct. 2, 1961, Alleg escaped from prison. In Moscow on May 5, 1962, he delivered a speech, “The Inspiring Example of Pravda.” In July 1962, Alleg revived Alger Républicain in his homeland as the organ of the National Liberation Front, supporting the socialist orientation of the country. Alleg visited Cuba (the book of essays Victorious Cuba, 1963) and Uzbekistan (the report How Socialism Triumphed Over the Desert, 1964).

Since 1965, Alleg has been living outside Algeria, continuing his struggle for the ideals of socialism (foreword to the testimonial Martyrs of El Arresh, 1966) and against the insidious tactics of imperialism (the work “Bourgeois Ideology in the Service of Neocolonialism” in Probleme des Friedens und des Sozialismus in [Problems of Peace and Socialism, 1968, no. 1]).


“Quelle voie choisir?” France nouvelle, Jan. 15, 1969, no. 1210.
In Russian translation:
“Nashi uspekhi i nashi zadachi.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1964, no. 7.
Foreword. In M. Feraun, Zemlia i krov’. Moscow, 1965.


Zand, N. M., and V. A. El’vova. Khudozhestvennaia literatura stran Afriki v sovetskoi pechati: Bibliografía, 1958–1964. Moscow, 1967.
Stil,A. “Prisonniers de guerre.” France nouvelle, May 10–16, 1961, no. 812.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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C'est dans ce parcours des multiples acteurs des communistes des deux cotes de la Mediterranee qu'Alain Ruscio analyse, entre autres, la mobilisation "avortee" des communistes le 17 octobre 1957, en mettant en relief le combat mene par Maurice Audin, Henri Alleg et tant d'autres communistes francais, avec l'engagement des avocats et des intellectuels.
THE DEAR PRICE ALGERIANS PAID FOR their independence has been amply documented, but Henri Alleg's "Algerian Memoirs" is an incomparable, if imperfect, addition to that history.
But for an acutely political framework one has to seek out works like Hains's 1958 Alleg Alger, which connects the embattled Algerian capital to the journalist Henri Alleg, whose account of his torture at the hands of French paratroopers, La Question (1958), sold thousands of copies in France before the government banned it.
During France's Algerian War (1954-62), the French journalist Henri Alleg sided with the insurgents.
Three years before the appearance of Henri Alleg's famous book "La Question" (an archiac term for torture), Mauriac had already openly criticized the conduct of the Algerian war, placing the current abuses in North Africa in the context of history and relating them to torture and to the perennial violence and injustice of war in France's past and in the past of Christian Europe.
Radical publishers such as Seuil, Maspero, and, especially, Minuit, under Jerome Lindon, were similarly targeted as they attempted to provide a vehicle for counter-narratives of the military build-up in Algeria.(5) The botched suppression of Henri Alleg's La Question (1958) after some 65,000 copies of the text had been circulated in just five weeks was, in Anne Simonin's estimation, the nearest that this new Dreyfus affair got to Zola's epoch-making 'J'Accuse'.(6) An account by the communist editor of Algeria's only liberal daily newspaper, Alger republicain, of his extra-judicial imprisonment and torture at the hands of French paratroopers during the Battle of Algiers, this text marked a watershed in metropolitan intellectual engagement with the questions raised by the war.
But the analysis of human relations in L'Etre et le neant suggests that since all human relationships are based on a comparable struggle for dominance and recognition, hell would be just as awful for a trio made up of an authentic feminist, a freedom fighter on the lines of la Pasionaria, and as brave a member of a left-wing resistance group as Henri Alleg. The links between Sartre's preface to Alleg's La Question (1960) offer a good way of approaching Les Sequestres d'Altona, and Redfern's discussion of the problem of torture is particularly instructive.
Henri Alleg a [euro]u[c]t[euro]u[c] lae1/4aoun des premiers [euro]u lae1/4aoavoir mise [euro]u nue dans son livre [euro]o[beaucoup moins que]la Question[euro]o[beaucoup plus grand que].
Il y a 60 ans, le celebre journaliste engage dans la cause algerienne et historien, Henri Alleg, s'insurgeait dans "La Question", un livre a travers lequel il denoncait la torture pratique par l'armee francaise contre les Algeriens durant la Guerre de liberation.