France’s Bloody History and Present

The Gallic Peninsula, where France is located, is one of the oldest settlements in human history and one of the countries where minorities were most oppressed. This discrimination policy sometimes turned into massacres and sometimes caused social events and civil unrest.


France reached its present core territory in the Middle Ages and transformed into the Frankish Kingdom, a national state, in the 8th century. Pepin the Short, one of the Frankish kings, besieged the Clermont Castle of the Kingdom of Akhitinya. Pepin the Short, who captured the city, had Count Bladinus, the commander of the castle, chained, and the people in the city, regardless of their size, were burned alive.

In 1022, many people were burned at the stake in Orleans, this time for religious reasons. Some clergy close to Queen Constance of Arles were investigated because they did not embrace an ascetic-based mysticism. The incident had a religious as well as a political aspect. King II Robert thought that the clergy in Orleans were aiding the Count of Blois, the king’s greatest rival. II. By Robert’s order, all declared heretics in Orleans were first locked in a building and then all burned. This was the first major massacre sanctioned by the church.

Short Pepin.


In 1095, Pope John II. When the Crusade decision was made by Urbanus, the first target was the Jews in the city of Rouen. A Crusader unit gathered in Rouen in September 1096 and massacred the Jews in the city in the Rouen Synagogue. In 1142, Henry VII. The French army loyal to Louis XIV packed 1,300 people into a church and burned them alive on the grounds that they supported the soldiers of the Holy Roman Empire.

Theobald, Count of Blois, one of the important figures of the Crusades, also visited Hz. Claiming to avenge the blood of Jesus, he gathered 31 Jews, 17 of whom were women, in a house in his city and burned these people alive. In 1192, King of France II. This time, on Philip’s orders, the Jews in Bray-Sur-Seine were killed.

In 1209, a Crusade was organized against the Cathars in southern France. VIII. The Crusader unit led by Louis advanced towards Southern France and slaughtered thousands of people.

On June 10, 1219, a massacre on an unprecedented scale was carried out in the city of Marmande. Henry VIII, who would later sit on the royal throne. Louis completely burned the city of Marmande in Southwestern France and killed 5 thousand people.

Massacres of Jews and heretics continued throughout the Middle Ages. Many Jews and heretics were massacred in Moissac in 1234, in Carcassonne in 1240, in Dijon in 1251, in Troyes in 1288, and in Touluse in 1320.

Burning of the Cathars.


In 1358, the first major revolt against the existing feudal system was carried out by the peasants. Approximately 20 thousand French peasants were killed, most of whom were not involved in anything.

St. Barthelemy massacre.

Sectarian wars

With the emergence of reform movements in the 16th century, religious massacres began again in France.

. Many Huguenots thought to have been involved were interrogated, and approximately 1,500 people were mass murdered.

A great massacre took place in Vassy in 1562 by the order of the Duc de Guise, one of the leading Catholics. Huguenots, who wanted to respond to this pressure from the Catholics, killed 200 Catholic soldiers in Mornas in 1562. In 1567, Catholics in the city of Nimes were massacred by Protestants. However, despite these acts of revenge, Catholics continued to oppress and kill Huguenots in many parts of the country.

In the Protestant-Catholic conflict, the biggest massacre was St. Paul in Paris. Barthelemy’s day took place. St. On August 23-24, 1572, coinciding with St. Barthélemy’s feast, in Paris, Henry IV, Count of Navarra and a Protestant ruler, met. The Huguenots, who came to Paris for the wedding of Henri (later king of France), King Henry IX. They were subjected to a great massacre on the orders of Charles’ mother, Catherine de Medici. This massacre was the bloodiest event of the sectarian wars period, and it resulted in the killing of many leaders of the Protestants and the retreat of the Huguenots.

Robespierre’s execution by guillotine.


The French Revolution is shown as a revolution identified with freedom. However, during the revolution, hundreds of thousands of French people were killed in the most brutal ways as “enemies of the Republic”. During the French Revolution, which was a revolution of blood and tears, the French were massacred as enemies of the Republic, and those who escaped from the massacre took refuge in England, Austria, Russia, America, Prussia and the Ottoman Empire.

The guillotine, personally designed by French parliament member Joseph Ignace Guillotin in 1792, became a killing machine that enabled the mass murder of many people from different groups. However, other than execution by guillotine, there were also great massacres during this period.



In 1793, the Republican Army, which defended the return to the old regime and defeated the members of the Royal and Catholic Army (Vendee Army) supported by England, who were against the French Revolution, entered the city of Avranches under the leadership of General Sepher. Public order was restored. However, a great massacre began. More than 600 thousand people, including women and children, were killed in the Vendee region during the years of the revolution. This mass murder against a local people went down in history as the first “genocide”, that is, genocide, committed in Europe.

The mass killings that started with the French Revolution changed shape after 1794. These operations, which were initially intended to eliminate the royalist rebels, turned into an internal showdown of the Republicans over time, and Robespierre supporters, Mountaineers (Montanagrads), Thermidorians, and Jacobins fought with each other.

With a population of 28 million in 1789, France was the most populous country among European countries. According to some of the revolutionaries, part of the population was made up of clergy, nobles, merchants and bankers, whom they considered to be consumers. First, many people, starting with these, should have been killed because they would never love the Republic. More than a million people were killed during the revolution.


The massacres in the history of France, which established colonies as part of its colonial activities and committed major human rights violations, especially in its colonies in Africa, continue to disturb the conscience of the international public.

With its colonial activities that it started in 1524, France dominated more than 20 countries in the west and north of Africa. 35 percent of Africa remained under French control for 300 years.

Countries such as Senegal, Ivory Coast and Benin were used as slave trade centers of France in those years, and all resources in the region were exploited.

France’s black history in Africa

During the 5-century colonial period in the region, and especially in the countries that struggled for independence after the Second World War, these uprisings were violently suppressed and more than 2 million Africans lost their lives.

On the other hand, the uprisings initiated by the people of the countries that France had made to fight on its side with the promise of independence in the world wars were also violently suppressed. Five centuries of colonialism and wars of independence in the region cost the lives of more than 2 million Africans.

Shortly before the end of the Second World War, thousands of Algerians were killed by French soldiers in the demonstrations initiated by Algerians who fought on the side of France with the promise of independence. Violence continued systematically from the events that went down in history as the “8 May 1945 Setif and Guelma” massacre until 1962, when Algeria gained its independence.

1 million people lost their lives because of the French in the Algerian War of Independence.

It is known that France has left the Algerian society with a cultural genocide since 1830. France, which caused the 300-year-old Ottoman history to be largely eliminated in addition to Algeria’s own local identity, transformed many cultural and religious monuments in the country as it wished.

France’s role in the greatest genocide in history

France also committed major human rights violations in countries where it had political influence.

It was revealed that France also played a role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide, which is considered one of the largest genocides in human history, in which 800 thousand people died.

It was reflected in international reports that just before the Rwandan genocide, French soldiers in the region did not evaluate the intelligence they received and left the region, and some French soldiers personally supported the massacres.

France launched Operation Turquoise on June 23 to create a safe zone for refugees in the southwest of the country. However, there are still many ongoing international cases against France, which was found to have provided weapons and information to the Hutu government that committed the genocide in Rwanda, rather than preventing it.

Former President of France François Mitterrand said in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper in 1998, “It is not such a big deal that a genocide occurred in those countries.” His use of the phrase is still a fact known to the international community.

French Mediapart website, in its news titled “Rwandan genocide: France’s lies revealed” published in February, based on a document belonging to the French Foreign Intelligence Unit DGSE, stated that France concealed the real culprits of the Rwandan genocide, in which approximately 800 thousand Tutsis were killed by the Hutu militias. he wrote.

France blocks access to genocide archives

France, which has been criticized internationally and domestically for being a long-time supporter of the Hutu government that committed the genocide in Rwanda, also blocks access to genocide documents.

Although the “state secret” ban on archives related to the genocide period has been lifted, the archives in question cannot be accessed due to a second ban imposed by former President Mitterrand.

In addition to all these, it is also known that workers from countries that suffered great losses in the wars of independence against France and whose economies collapsed were forced to work under harsher conditions than the French, for lower wages.

More than 500 thousand Vietnamese were massacred between 1872 and 1954. Vietnam, the location of one of the bloodiest and brutal wars of imperialism in the 20th century, was already the focus of France’s trade interest since the late 18th century. France’s presence in the region, which soon began to intervene militarily in the region, would last until 1954.

Today, there are 1514 problematic districts identified by the state in France. The French state calls these districts, where approximately 5.5 million people live, “Priority Neighborhoods of Urban Policy”. While the rate of people living below the poverty level is 14.5 percent in France overall, it is 43.3 percent in these districts. While the unemployment rate in France is 8.5 percent in general, it is around 18.6 percent in these districts. The number of permanent employees is also well below the overall rate in France.

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