Drawing by Gill, “The old breaker of irons,” La Petite Lune 34, 1878. During discussions on whether to grant amnesty to communards, Gill made Victor Hugo into the figurehead for this struggle.

Amnesty is a procedure of radical clemency that decrees forgetting of wrongdoing. Often practiced in Europe during the aftermath of major civil crises in an effort to end confrontation and revive community life, it was used in varying ways and for varying reasons depending on the regime. Long praised for its restorative role, the violence of the modern period contrasted it with the duty of memory. Its current rejection is revealing of a system of historicity in which actors struggle to free themselves from the past, with concern for victims taking priority. Forgetting subsequently becomes possible only if justice is rendered and history succeeds in disarming the confrontation of memories.

Source : Amnesty