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Color illustration of the 2nd Dreyfus court martial trial

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.316

Color lithographic illustration published as a supplement to Vanity Fair in November 1899, depicting the second court martial trial of Alfred Dreyfus in Rennes, France, which began in August 1899. The Dreyfus Affair was a political scandal revolving around antisemitism that inflamed France during the turn of the 20th century. Alfred Dreyfus was a French army captain found guilty of treason in 1894 for selling military secrets to Germany. Antisemitic publications began using Dreyfus as a symbol of the disloyalty of all French Jews. A few years after Dreyfus’s trial, evidence was discovered that showed Major Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy perpetrated the crime, and he was tried but immediately acquitted. Émile Zola, a prominent author and journalist, wrote a letter titled “J’Accuse,” in which he accused the French Army of covering up its unjust conviction of Dreyfus. Zola was charged with libel and the Dreyfus Affair grew into a national political crisis. An Army intelligence officer was found to have forged the documents proving Dreyfus’s guilt. However, in this second trial at Rennes, despite the confessions of the intelligence officer and Esterhazy, the Army again convicted Dreyfus. The verdict was met with outrage around the world, and there were threats to boycott the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900. The president of the republic offered Dreyfus a pardon to end the crisis, which he accepted. The army did not declare his innocence until 1995. This illustration is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Artwork Title
At Rennes
publication/distribution:  1899 November 23
publication: London (England)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:00:15
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