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Alfred Dreyfus Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (3)

Overview (2)

Born in Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin, France
Died in Paris, France

Mini Bio (1)

Alfred Dreyfuss is known, and earned his place in history, for being unwillingly at the center of a scandal that rocked France from 1894 until 1906. Dreyfuss, a captain on the General Staff, had been accused of passing sensitive artillery information to Germany (it was soon discovered that another officer had actually been the spy, but the information was ignored). After a secret court-martial, Dreyfuss was stripped of his rank and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Devil's Island prison in French Guiana. However, his conviction had sharply divided the French populace, with many rallying to his defense. Among them was Emile Zola, whose incendiary article "J'Accuse" and the resulting trial for libel brought the facts of the case for the first time into the public domain. By the early 1900s, it was obvious that Dreyfuss had been a victim of anti-Semitism (Dreyfuss was Jewish) and that the trial was fatally flawed. On July 12, 1906, Dreyfuss was fully and publicly exonerated and returned to his old rank before almost immediately being promoted. Dreyfuss served in the inactive reserves until World War One where as a 55-year-old man, he served with distinction at Verdun and other battlefronts, earning the Croix de Guerre and the title of Officer of the Legion of Honor. Dreyfuss died on June 12, 1935, exactly 29 years to the day after his exoneration.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pat Payne

Trivia (3)

French army officer falsely imprisoned on Devil's Island.
Was portrayed by Joseph Schildkraut (in an Oscar-winning performance) in 1937's "The Life of Emile Zola".
Both Richard Dreyfuss and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are distantly related to him.

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