unhistorical:

January 13, 1898: ”J’accuse” is published.

Émile Zola’s letter denouncing the French government for its anti-Semitism was directed at the president of France, Félix Faure, and it was published on the front page of future Prime Minster Georges Clemenceau’s newspaper L’Aurore for all of France to read. By this time, Alfred Dreyfus, the Jewish French artillery officer who had been publicly stripped of his rank after being found guilty of treason, had spent three years on the penal colony on Devil’s Island. In that period of time, new evidence linking an entirely different figure to whatever acts Dreyfus had been charged with was exposed, kicking off a debate over anti-Semitism that split the country.

Zola’s letter was one important part of that debate; it began with this line:

Would you allow me, in my gratitude for the benevolent reception that you gave me one day, to draw the attention of your rightful glory and to tell you that your star, so happy until now, is threatened by the most shameful and most ineffaceable of blemishes?

Zola went on to describe what he called a “stain on [France]’s cheek” - the faulty case made against Alfred Dreyfus that led to his unjust conviction, the anti-Semitism of the French government, and the acquittal of the actual perpetrator of treason, whose guilt had been covered up. He made his arguments so strongly that the government would have to sue him for libel, which he knew full well; by being brought to trial, Zola would in turn force the government to reveal their weak case against Dreyfus and new evidence that might work in his favor. Zola was convicted of treason in February of 1898 but fled to England in order to escape jail time, confident in his own statement that “The truth is on the march, and nothing shall stop it.” The truth marched on, and in 1906, Dreyfus was completely exonerated, and he was even awarded the Légion d’honneur. As far as Zola’s involvement was concerned, Dreyfus’ triumph was a triumph for the modern intellectual and his or her new influence on society.

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Le traître : Dégradation d’Alfred Dreyfus, dégradation dans la Cour Morlan de l’École militaire à Paris.
@credits

In 1894, the French Army’s counter-intelligence section, led by Lt. Col. Jean Conrad Sandherr, became aware that new artillery information was being passed to the German embassy in Paris by a highly placed spy likely to be posted in the French General Staff. Suspicion quickly fell upon Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who was arrested for treason on 15 October 1894. On 5 January 1895, Dreyfus was summarily convicted in a secret court martial, publicly stripped of his army rank, and sentenced to life imprisonment in a penal colony on Devil’s Island in French Guiana.

Le traître : Dégradation d’Alfred Dreyfus, dégradation dans la Cour Morlan de l’École militaire à Paris.

@credits

In 1894, the French Army’s counter-intelligence section, led by Lt. Col. Jean Conrad Sandherr, became aware that new artillery information was being passed to the German embassy in Paris by a highly placed spy likely to be posted in the French General Staff. Suspicion quickly fell upon Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who was arrested for treason on 15 October 1894. On 5 January 1895, Dreyfus was summarily convicted in a secret court martial, publicly stripped of his army rank, and sentenced to life imprisonment in a penal colony on Devil’s Island in French Guiana.

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fyeah-history:

The memorandum which sparked the Dreyfus Affair, 1894The Dreyfus affair was a political scandal that divided France in the 1890s and the early 1900s. It involved the conviction for treason in November 1894 of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian Jewish descent. Sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly having communicated French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris, Dreyfus was sent to the penal colony at Devil’s Island in French Guiana and placed in solitary confinement, where he was to spend almost 5 years.

fyeah-history:

The memorandum which sparked the Dreyfus Affair, 1894
The Dreyfus affair was a political scandal that divided France in the 1890s and the early 1900s. It involved the conviction for treason in November 1894 of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian Jewish descent. Sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly having communicated French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris, Dreyfus was sent to the penal colony at Devil’s Island in French Guiana and placed in solitary confinement, where he was to spend almost 5 years.

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J’accuse! - Emile Zola, 13 janvier 1898
@credits

"J’accuse" ("I accuse") was an open letter published on January 13, 1898, in the newspaper L’Aurore by the influential writer Émile Zola.
In the letter, Zola addressed President of France Félix Faure, and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer sentenced to penal servitude for life for espionage.  Zola pointed out judicial errors and lack of serious evidence. The  letter was printed on the front page of the newspaper, and caused a stir  in France and abroad. Zola was prosecuted and found guilty of libel on 23 February 1898. To avoid imprisonment, he fled to England, returning home in June 1899.
As a result of the popularity of the letter, J’accuse! has become a common generic expression of outrage and accusation against someone powerful.
(I found a nice comic about the Affaire) (in French, sorry) (but it’s well done) (except the part where Clemenceau has an accent. No accent in his name èé9)

J’accuse! - Emile Zola, 13 janvier 1898

@credits

"J’accuse" ("I accuse") was an open letter published on January 13, 1898, in the newspaper L’Aurore by the influential writer Émile Zola.

In the letter, Zola addressed President of France Félix Faure, and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer sentenced to penal servitude for life for espionage. Zola pointed out judicial errors and lack of serious evidence. The letter was printed on the front page of the newspaper, and caused a stir in France and abroad. Zola was prosecuted and found guilty of libel on 23 February 1898. To avoid imprisonment, he fled to England, returning home in June 1899.

As a result of the popularity of the letter, J’accuse! has become a common generic expression of outrage and accusation against someone powerful.

(I found a nice comic about the Affaire) (in French, sorry) (but it’s well done) (except the part where Clemenceau has an accent. No accent in his name èé9)

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Drawing “a family supper” from Caran d’Ache in le Figaro on February 14, 1898. The drawing depicts the divisions of French society during the Dreyfus Affair.  At the top, somebody says “above all, let us not discuss the Dreyfus  Affair!”. At the bottom, the whole family is fighting, and the caption  says “they have discussed it”.

Drawing “a family supper” from Caran d’Ache in le Figaro on February 14, 1898. The drawing depicts the divisions of French society during the Dreyfus Affair. At the top, somebody says “above all, let us not discuss the Dreyfus Affair!”. At the bottom, the whole family is fighting, and the caption says “they have discussed it”.

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