Alfred Dreyfus: Traître ou Victime?
Dr. Brigitte Hamon-Porter
In the late 19th century, false accusations of treason leveled against Captain Alfred Dreyfus launched France into a twelve-year struggle against anti-Semitism. Dreyfus, a Jew, was accused of passing valuable information regarding French military initiatives to the German Army. Despite the lack of concrete evidence, he was arrested and condemned in 1894, stripped of his rank, and exiled from his country. Finally, in 1906, he was officially pardoned and his honor restored. The affair deeply divided France. Some believed Dreyfus had truly committed a crime and received the punishments he deserved. Others harbored suspicions that it was a case of religious persecution, since many of his accusers were known for their anti-Semitic beliefs. As this research shows, this debate of motives is still being investigated today. Furthermore, the research examines not only the affair itself, but also the repercussions the event holds for the modern world. It demonstrates, in addition to questions of religious liberty, the tendencies for those in authority to abuse their power, an issue that continues to plague our governments to this day.
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