Last modified on August 29, 2021, at 18:43

Alfred Dreyfus

Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) was a Jewish officer in the French army who was accused of spying for Germany in the 1890s. The charges, conviction and initial refusal by the government to admit its error reflected rampant Anti-Semitism. In 1895, he was sentenced to spend life imprisoned on Devil's Island off the coast of French Guiana.

The Dreyfuss Affair became a central issue in French politics, with critics like Émile Zola—who cried "J'accuse"—insisting it was a miscarriage of justice brought by a conspiracy of Catholic army officers. Dreyfuss was proven innocent and released in 1899.

Further reading

  • Bredin, Jean-Denis. The Affair: The Case of Alfred Dreyfus. (1986). 551 pp.
  • Griffiths, Richard. The Use of Abuse: The Polemics of the Dreyfus Affair and Its Aftermath. (1991). 207 pp.
  • Kleeblatt, Norman L., ed. The Dreyfus Affair: Art, Truth, and Justice. (1987). 315 pp.
  • Zola, Emile. The Dreyfus Affair: "J'Accuse" and Other Writings. (1996). 202 pp.