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The Great Island lived peaceably, to the point where Governor General Leon Cayla, who was then exercising his pontificate, described it as a glorification of his management of the happy island “(A.P. Marion, 1945).
September 1939: Madagascar mobilizes its military forces and consequently reduces its economic activity. Then, in June 1940, it was uncertainty: various contrary currents led him to disorder and … history. For the first time, Western radio stations began to mention it, although at the time (1940-1942), “apart from a few small clans, some isolated sound, there is no, on the land of the moramora, Of union which concretizes a political opinion capable of channeling identical ideas, of constituting a dynamic element and not a static force “. And if the call of General de Gaulle, on June 18, 1940, his “vibrating objurgations” in the months that follow have echoes, that remains echoes.
Madagascar like so many other colonies, lives “in tutelage with a sacrosanct, infallible, omniscient administration”. Moreover, in July 1940, a major metropolitan military magazine clarified the role that the colonies must now play on the international scene: to remain alongside “Vichy-Germany”.
Thus, the Great Island is found on the blacklist of the British Admiralty which extends the blockade to its shores become suspect. To complicate matters, besides the anti-Gole slogans, “the press becomes the ideal dumping ground for plumitifs, of which the English are the favorite game and who do not forget to ask the Japanese to protect Madagascar against any Cowardly aggression “.
Faced with this “Franco-French” conflict, the daily life of the population deteriorated, and there was a resurgence of acts of banditry.
Brigandage, often armed, extends to vast parts of the west. Burglaries in the cities are at their peak. In Antananarivo, in the darkness of the night, in the distant corners, one can get undressed in a turn of hand and leave naked, while the thief, “poor guy running out of linen, fades into the shadows” .
Products are no longer easily exported, protection laws create courses
Fictitious and France pays more than the United States for products in peacetime, it almost does not matter. Stores must sell until stocks are exhausted “to make it appear that everything is normal and, perhaps, that one is always supplied”. We exclude all control, banish any idea of ​​good or notebook for a long time, we contain the increases too late.
This illogical and unpredictable policy creates the black market. “He had to flourish and grow beyond the most beautiful wild hopes, to the point of making believe that the country is specially adapted to this particular kind of indirect exploitation of the poor by the profiteers and the scoundrels. “
They are “beaten” in the distant countryside, under the pretext of protecting the peasant. “The agents of execution turn into super-sharks and their razzias, in the name of the law, are not ready to be forgotten. It seems that a collectivist regime is emerging. But in fact, the “shameless” enrichment of some has, for “lugubrious counterpart”, a marked regression of the populations distant from the centers and due to the slump and the black market.
The result must not appear long and must persist for a long time: the taste for work disappears, the “laissez-faire, the let-go regain their rights”. “The despoiling of the humble must be completed by these vestiges of an antiquated epoch: the canton chiefs, these vultures, base themselves on the most modest possessors, sometimes for subscriptions to the so-called national relief, sometimes to force the hand to Of the tickets, which one never gives, of the so-called Malagasy lottery. “
At the same time, medical stations are empty: doctors and nurses simply fill in paper. The little children, for want of a better one, are lying in the still warm ashes of the hearth, in the cold areas where death is watching for those who are not sufficiently protected. Besides, the Malagasy clothe raffia cloths, as their ancestors did a hundred and fifty years ago!
Finally, there are queues of people waiting for endless hours in front of the “office”, that we want to give them a license to buy some rice, salt, sugar …