Alfred Dreyfus

Artillery Officer Alfred Dreyfus

Profession: Artillery Officer


Biography: Alfred Dreyfus was a French artillery officer of Jewish ancestry who was tried and convicted in 1894 on charges of treason. This event, subsequently known as the Dreyfus affair, was a polarizing political incident.

Subsequently it emerged that Dreyfus was not the perpetrator, that in fact it was a French Army major by the name of Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy who had communicated the French secrets to the Germany embassy in Paris. This evidence was suppressed by the government, however, and Esterhazy was acquitted.

Dreyfus was brought up on trial a second time, during which French society was divided between those that supported him (Dreyfusards) and those who condemned him (anti-Dreyfusards). At this second trial he was again convicted, only to be pardoned.

Born: October 9, 1859
Birthplace: Mulhouse, France
Star Sign: Libra

Died: July 12, 1935 (aged 75)

Historical Events

  • 1894-10-15 Captain Alfred Dreyfus arrested and accused of espionage in France
  • 1894-12-22 French officer Alfred Dreyfus court-martialed for treason, triggers worldwide charges of anti-Semitism (Dreyfus later vindicated)
  • 1895-01-05 French Captain Alfred Dreyfus, convicted of treason, publicly stripped of his rank; later exonerated
  • 1898-01-13 Emile Zola publishes his open letter "J'accuse" accusing the French government of framing Alfred Dreyfus for sabotage
  • 1898-02-23 Emile Zola is imprisoned in France for writing his "J'accuse" letter which accused the government of anti-Semitism and of wrongly jailing Alfred Dreyfus
  • 1899-09-09 French Capt Alfred Dreyfus sentenced on unjust grounds
  • 1906-07-12 Alfred Dreyfus found innocent in France

Famous French People