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Ali Nadi, the last living Moroccan goumier who liberated Corsica joins his brothers in arms

Ali Nadi, the last Moroccan goumier passed away a few days ago in his small village in the Atlas Mountains. Father of four children, Ali was one of the Moroccan soldiers who fought to liberate Corsica in 1943. He was decorated with the Legion of Honor and later elevated to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor by Francois Hollande, the former French President in 2013.

Ali Nadi, the last living Goumier who passed away in December 2017./Ph. DR
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Ali Nadi is one of the few people who have marked the shared history that tied Morocco to France for decades. The Moroccan soldier passed away on the 12th of December in his village located in the Atlas Mountains losing the title of the «last living Goumier», as indicated by Corsica-Matin, a local online newspaper. Nadi had participated to the Teghime battle to liberate the city of Bastia in Corsica in October the 3rd, 1943.

«We were in the front lines facing death. We were real warriors», Ali Nadi told MAP news agency in 2004. He said that he «landed» in Marseille in the middle of an air and land raid.

In the battlefield

Bastia was at the time the last city occupied by the fascist and Nazi forces. «6000 men were sent by France to help the opposition retake Corsica», recalls a reportage broadcasted on France 2 in 2013. «The German army which was controlling the northern part of Ile de Beauté was trapped» .

Ali Nadi said that he has stopped a Nazi before being injured in the shoulder in the Teghime battle. «In Teghime, the battles were very difficult. The Germans were constantly firing bombshells. It was cold and foggy and it made it hard for us to progress. I was injured in the shoulder. The losses were numerous, our brothers died here» . In fact, 200 goumiers died to liberate the island.

The Sergeant was only 17 years old. It all started for the Azilal native when he heard about the call launched by King Mohammed V on September the 3rd, 1939 to support France during the war, through a letter read in the mosques of the kingdom.

«The war was hard. But we were proud to defend France», declared Ali Nadi to Media when he was decorated with the Legion of Honor by the former French President Jacques Chirac in August 2004, at the 60th anniversary of the landing in Provence. It was the first time he returned to France since his last trip in January 1946.

At the time, the goumier complained about the amount of money granted to veterans, he told MAP : «I am paid 60 Euros per month, it is not much» .

Ali Nadi took part in several battles in Corsica, Italy, the landing in Province, Alsace, in Germany, and Indochina (1949-1952). «An extraordinary fighter who was decorated by General de Gaulle, himself, and then named «the lion of the Atlas», wrote Corsica-Matin.

Recognition

In 2013, the Moroccan soldier was the only goumier to be elevated to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor by Francois Hollande, the former French President. During his stay in Bastia, he told the goumier : «You will always be remembered».

In October 2015, a monument to render homage to the Moroccan goumiers was built in Place Denys-Cohin in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. The moto of the Moroccan goumiers, «Zidou lgoudam», was engraved on the stele. Ali Nadi was present at this ceremony.

In order to remember him forever, the Corsican Opposition Movement in Bastia «wants to name a street after Ali Nadi, the last living goumier», wrote France Info, on Thursday. On December the 19th, a motion will be submitted to the city council, so that on the 75th anniversary of Cosrsica’s liberation in 2018, one of the island’s streets will bear the name of Ali Nadi.

The Atlas Warriors

A Grand Angle documentary broadcasted by 2M, showing Ali Badi and his brothers in arms in Corsica. He proudly stated, «we helped them embrace freedom».

«I always positioned myself in the lead. I surprised the Germans as they went about their daily lives. I surprised them and shouted «Hands up !». I opened fire and there they went, shouting «Comrade !» I captured 72 German soldiers on my own. «The Moroccan goumier was not afraid to go beyond his limits : «We are the children of the mountains. Nothing scares us. We went to the front, we were sent to the most difficult places.»

Article modified on : 15/12/2017 19h14

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