Rabat - French-Moroccan alliances have been in place for centuries. Fully independent since 1955, Morocco was a French protectorate for nearly 44 years.
Rabat – French-Moroccan alliances have been in place for centuries. Fully independent since 1955, Morocco was a French protectorate for nearly 44 years.
As a tribute of remembrance and appreciation, the French honored those brave Moroccan veterans and fallen soldiers who freed Corsica from the Nazis over 72 years ago.
What the French owe to Moroccan “goumiers” in World War II cannot fade from memory or the rich history of France and Morocco.
The 70th anniversary of the liberation of Corsica was celebrated in 2013 when the French honored the surviving Moroccan soldiers. The ceremonial day was made into a documentary.
The documentary was directed by France2. Memorable clips have been uploaded online, which have now surfaced to remind us that Muslims and Christians have defended and died for each other.
More than 6,000 Moroccan soldiers of the French colonial army left the other side of the Mediterranean Sea to liberate Corsica from the Nazi occupation on October 4, 1943.
According to the documentary, only about 808 Moroccan soldiers remain alive from that glorious period.
Elderly men today and wearing Moroccan djellaba, four “goumiers” were flown to Corsica and stood on the same spot where they once fought to free the territory. This was their first time back on the island since 1943.
The documentary began with a trip to Casablanca to visit with the veteran. French and Moroccan students shared fantastic stories with the “goumiers,” who are in their 90s, maybe even close to 100 years old.
The Moroccan veterans were taken to Rabat where they met with Kader Arif, French Minister Delegate of Defense.
The decorated soldiers traveled to Corsica onboard the private plane of French President François Hollande in a gesture of respect and recognition.
While in Corsica, the men recounted, with great enthusiasm, what they went through during the liberation of the island in 1943.
They were then taken to the Thegime Memorial, which pays tribute to the sacrifice of the thousands of fallen Moroccans who fought the occupation.
The honors of the French Republic were given to these Moroccan heroes, where the flags of both countries waved proud in the air together.
The mountainous Mediterranean island became the first part of the French territory freed from German occupation thanks to the brave “goumiers” who risked their lives.
The symbolic tombs of 47 Moroccan Muslim soldiers and one Christian commander lie in Corsica as legendary tribute of what Morocco did for the liberation of France.
Nowadays, both countries share more than the use of the French language and a profound history. They remain trade and tourism partners and both governments remain amicable and in cooperation.