While researching other matters, I came across a 1954 article about an atrocity in French-occupied Morocco. It was a "teaching moment" for me, and it provides this week's theme.
– Time Magazine, Aug. 23, 1954
[from Arabic, meaning ‘town’]
ratissage – a search or raid by the (French) police or military (esp. one in French northern Africa). [Freq. characterized as a particularly violent or feared type of operation.]
It is horrific.
cordon – a line or circle of police, soldiers, or guards forming a barrier
(verb: cordon off – to prevent access to or from, by means of a cordon)This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
Once a door was smashed, in went the goumiers and drove out every male, except small boys. Women cried out in terror, – and were beaten back with clubs or gun butts.
goumier – such a soldier
truncheon – a short thick stick or club, carried as a weapon
[Old French tronchon ‘stump’, from Latin truncus ‘trunk’]
"Entrez done, Monsieur," said a reserve police colonel. "The session is about to begin." He smiled broadly, then hit a middle-aged Arab with his right fist, below the belt. As the Arab went down, the colonel kneed him in the groin. The Arab tried to get up; another cop caught him across the jaw with a club. Down went the Arab and the next cop kicked him, twice. He got up again and ran into the arms of still another policeman, who poked him into a sitting position with the muzzle of a carbine.
Altogether, more than 20,000 Arabs were routed out of their homes to run the gauntlet that day.
The gauntlet was only a beginning.
(also,an onslaught from all sides; or, a severe trial; an ordeal)
[from Swedish gata ‘lane’ + lopp ‘course’]This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
pasha – a title for military and civil officers, esp. in Turkey and northern Africa
After they had run it, some seriously beaten, each man was placed in a long line. The line shuffled past a 6-ft. pasha. A gesture, a slight shove from the pasha, and an Arab was pushed into one of two groups: those who were suspected of having participated in the past week's rioting and those who were charged with nothing. Before the day was done, 6,000 men had been herded into the suspect group.
They were loaded into cement trucks and hauled off to jail. As they went, their womenfolk came, screaming and crying "Allah." The police fired into the air to force the women back and to keep the prisoners' heads down in the trucks.
The cops were not too careful about keeping their fire high.