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Dreyfus affair

Summary Article: Dreyfus Affair from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Dreyfus Affair (drā´fәs, drī-), the controversy that occurred with the treason conviction (1894) of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935), a French artillery officer and graduate of the French military academy. The Case The case arose when a French spy in the German embassy discovered a handwritten bordereau [schedule], received by Major Maximilien von Schwartzkoppen, German military attaché in Paris, which offered to sell French military secrets. The French army, which, although considerably democratized in the late 19th cent., remained a stronghold of monarchists and Catholics and permeated by anti-Semitism, attempted to ferret out the traitor. Suspicion fell on Dreyfus, a wealthy Alsatian Jew, while the press raised accusations of Jewish treason. He was tried in camera by a French court-martial, convicted, and sentenced to degradation and deportation for life. He was sent to Devi...    Continue Reading

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