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 Alfred Dreyfus

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Alfred Dreyfus

  • Birth 9 Oct 1859 Mulhouse, Departement du Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France
  • Death 12 Jul 1935 Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
  • Burial Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
  • Plot Division 28
  • Memorial ID 1639

French Army Officer. Born in Mulhouse, Alsace, France, the youngest of the seven children of a Jewish textile manufacturer. In 1877 he entered the École Polytechnique and graduated three years later to enter the military. Promoted to Lieutenant in 1885, four year later he made Captain, and was appointed as adjutant to the director of the pyrotechnical school in Bourges. In 1891, he was admitted to the Superior War College and graduated ninth in his class. He was then designated as a trainee at army headquarters. In 1894 Captain Dreyfus was accused of selling military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris. After a court martial in January 1895, he was stripped of his rank and sentenced to life imprisonment on the Devil's Island penal colony in the Caribbean. In 1896, new evidenced surfaced that exonerated Captain Dreyfus, the French military, however, tried to suppress the information and failed. The issue polarized factions within French society. On the anti-Dreyfus side were royalists, anti-Semites, militarists, and Roman Catholics; those defending Dreyfus were republicans, socialists and anti-clerics. Author Émile Zola opened the affair to the general public in the newspaper L'Aurore in a famous open letter to the President, entitled "J'accuse!" (I Accuse!) in January 1898, and was convicted of libel for criticizing the government. The factions in the Dreyfus affair remained in place for decades afterwards. In September 1899, a second trial was finally held, with the verdict again treason, but the sentence was reduced to ten years because of so-called extenuating circumstances. Dreyfus agreed not to appeal and was released. In 1904, he demanded a new investigation, and in 1906 the court of appeals pronounced his innocence. Captain Dreyfus was readmitted to the army, and made a knight in the Legion of Honor. He retired in October 1907, but was re-mobilized during World War I when he held assignments in Paris and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In 1930, his innocence was reaffirmed by the publication of Schwartzkoppen's papers. When he died in Paris at 75, his funeral cortège passed the Place de la Concorde through ranks of assembled troops.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1639
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Alfred Dreyfus (9 Oct 1859–12 Jul 1935), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1639, citing Cimetière de Montparnasse, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .