report on the Algerian War that advised putting an end to the page-by-page declassification process but also returning “as soon as possible” to declassifying any secret document more than 50 years old, as required by the 2008 law.

In its statement, the Élysée Palace said that the government would try to reconcile the 2011 instruction and the 2008 law through legislation by this summer.

“It is a question of coordination between different legal regimes,” Mr. Ricard said in a recent interview, as he carefully flipped the pages of a (declassified) archive file on Maurice Audin, a mathematician who was tortured to death by the French Army in Algeria in 1957.

Documents on Mr. Audin are part of about 100 files released in 2019 and 2020 after Mr. Macron called for the opening of all archives dealing with people who disappeared during the war.

official acknowledgment last week that France had “tortured and murdered” a leading Algerian independence fighter in 1957 was much criticized by the French right.

But nearly 60 years after the end of the war, the issue of France’s colonial past has perhaps never been so pressing, underlying a racial awakening by immigrants in the country and fueling heated debates on the country’s model of integration.

website listing hundreds of names of people who went missing during the war, based on archival research he was able to do before the new instructions were enforced.

Within weeks, he said, he had received a torrent of testimonies from Algerian families, enabling him to document more than 300 cases.

“It wouldn’t stop,” he said.

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