Dreyfus affair  

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"I accuse Major Du Paty de Clam as the diabolic workman of the miscarriage of justice, without knowing, I have wanted to believe it, and of then defending his harmful work, for three years, by the guiltiest and most absurd of machinations."

--"J'Accuse…!" (1898) by Émile Zola

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The Dreyfus affair was a political scandal which divided France from the 1890s to the early 1900s. It involved the wrongful conviction for treason of Captain Alfred Dreyfus (1859 – 1935), a promising young artillery officer and a Jew. The political and judicial scandal that followed lasted until Alfred Dreyfus was fully vindicated, after which he actively served in World War I as a lieutenant-colonel and was raised to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor in November 1918.

Films and theatre


  • "L'Affaire Dreyfus", Georges Méliès, Stumm, France, 1899
  • "Trial of Captain Dreyfus", Stumm, USA, 1899
  • "Dreyfus", Richard Oswald, Germany, 1930
  • "The Dreyfus Case", F.W. Kraemer, Milton Rosmer, USA, 1931
  • "The Life of Emile Zola", USA, 1937
  • "I Accuse!", José Ferrer, England, 1958
  • "Au revoir, les enfants", Louis Malle, France/West Germany, 1987
  • "L"Affaire Dreyfus" (released in Germany as "Die Affäre Dreyfus"), Yves Boisset, 1995

A British-made television film of 1991, "Prisoner of Honor", directed by Ken Russell, focuses on the efforts of Colonel Picquart to have the sentence of Alfred Dreyfus overturned. (Colonel Picquart was played by American actor Richard Dreyfuss, who says he is a descendant of Alfred Dreyfus).


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