Dreyfus Found Guilty

On this date in 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus of the French military was found guilty of having sold French military secrets to Germany. The verdict was based on antisemitic innuendo and paltry evidence. Dreyfus was sentenced to life imprisonment and spent two years in solitary confinement on Devil’s Island off the South American coast. Although evidence […]

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June 4: Alfred Dreyfus Is Shot

Alfred Dreyfus, the French Jewish military officer whose trial and imprisonment for twelve years on false charges of spying drove a wedge through French society, was shot in the arm and wrist by an anti-Semitic military journalist, Louis Grégori, while attending a ceremony honoring Emile Zola, Dreyfus’ great public defender, on this date in 1908. […]

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May 10: The Socialism of Fools

More than twenty thousand books deemed “Un-German” were burned by the National Socialist German Students’ League on this date in 1933 at the Opernplatz — now the Bebelplatz — near the University of Berlin. The purge began four days earlier when books from Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institut für Sexualwissenschaft were taken from the institute’s library and piled in […]

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December 2: The Vatican and the Dreyfus Affair

The official newspaper of the Vatican, L’Osservatore Romano, commented on this date in 1897 (some sources say 1898) on the arrest and trial of Alfred Dreyfus as “hardly surprising if we again find the Jew in the front ranks, or if we find that the betrayal of one’s country has been Jewishly conspired and Jewishly […]

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February 7: Émile Zola on Trial

French writer Émile Zola, a major force in the liberalization of France, was brought to trial for libel on this date in 1898 for having published “J’Accuse“, an open letter to French President Félix Faure that charged the French government with anti-Semitism and deceit in the conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jew, on charges […]

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December 22: Dreyfus Affair

On this day in 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus of the French military was found guilty of having treasonous communications with Germany. The verdict was based on anti-Semitic innuendo and the skimpiest of evidence. Dreyfus was sentenced to life imprisonment and spent two years in solitary confinement on Devil’s Island off the South American coast. Although […]

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