Activist, doctor, writer, researcher, founder of the Algerian Communist Party (PCA) and actor of independence, Saddek Hadjeres, one of the most emblematic historical figures of the Algerian left, died on November 3, 2022 in France , at the age of 94. He had left Algeria in the early 1990s and lived between Greece, his wife’s homeland, France and Algeria.
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Born on September 13, 1928 in Larbaa Nath Irathen, in Haute Kabylie, this son of teachers began his school career at Berrouaghia primary school, 88 km south-west of Algiers, before continuing his secondary studies in Medea, Blida and Algiers. In 1946, he began studying medicine, then practiced as a doctor in El-Harrach (ex-Maison Carrée), a district of Algiers. From 1955, he was also a researcher in medical sciences at the Faculty of Algiers.
Militant since 1943
The young Saddek began his militant career in 1943 with the Algerian Muslim Scouts (SMA), avant to join the Algerian People’s Party (PPA) a year later. In 1949, he was one of the writers of the famous document Algeria will live, which defends a pluralist conception of the Algerian nation, triggering what will be called the “Berberist crisis” within the PPA. Saddek was also active in the Association of Muslim Students of North Africa, of which he took over the presidency in 1950.
From 1952, Saddek Hadjeres was a member of the Advisory Council of the PCA and directed the journal Progress between 1953 and 1954. In 1955, a member of the armed organization “Combatants de la liberté”, he was sentenced in absentia to forced labor by a French court. In 1956, it was with his comrade Bachir Hadj Ali that he negotiated the integration of communist troops into the ranks of the National Liberation Front (FLN). Saddek will continue the fight until independence, in July 1962.
The Algerian war, on the losing side
Ahmed Ben Bella, the first president of independent Algeria, banned the PCA as soon as he came to power, which forced Saddek Hadjeres into hiding. In 1965, he joined the Popular Resistance Organization (ORP), created by Mohamed Harbi and Hocine Zehouane, two FLN leaders who had become opponents of Colonel Boumediene’s regime after the latter’s coup against Ben Bella. The following year, with other comrades, he participated in the founding of the Party for the Socialist Vanguard (PAGS), which did not definitively cease its activities until 1992, when Islamist terrorism began to mow down thousands of lives.
A teaching career in Paris
Saddek Hadjeres then left Algeria for France and began a career as an associate professor and researcher in geopolitics at the Center for Research and Political Analysis (CRAG) at the University of Paris-VIII. He also devotes himself to writing his Memoirs, published in three volumes, while continuing to testify, debate and deliver analyzes related to the history of the national movement and social on its Social Algeria site.
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“A survivor of the dark: 30 years of clandestinity in the name of an ever flamboyant ideal”, says of him his niece, the journalist Yasmina Chouaki, who worked with him for a long time and who saw in him the “Potomitan of his family Politics. He was exceptionally free, open and curious. He’s someone who always had 18 in his head. He welcomed everything with an equally exceptional freshness and modernity. »
It was in the 1980s that Saddek Hadjeres met the one who would become his wife, Aliki Papadomichelaki, an economist at Sonatrach and a member of PAGS. She testifies: “From 1985, we united our lives. We have embarked on a common journey, both for the two of us and for the Greek and Algerian peoples. He was not only a caring husband, but also a personality of great depth like very few people I have known. The first thing I remember about him is his deeply democratic spirit, which is very rare in our time. »
“Humble and constantly listening to others”
She continues: “He was humble, not at all pretentious, he was constantly listening to others. This appealed to me a lot because you rarely find political leaders with such an open mind. I also remember his intelligence. He was an intellectual who wrote books and was not satisfied with political work as such, because he was worried about the future not only of Algeria but of the whole planet economically, politically and socially, and even ecological. »
Aliki Papadomichelaki specifies that the remains of her deceased husband will be repatriated shortly to be buried in the cemetery of Sidi Tayeb of El-Harrach, this popular district where he practiced as a doctor for years, closer to this people for whom he has everything given.