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Illustrated newsheet satirizing Dreyfus's return from Devil's Island

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.424

Antisemitic newsheet cartoon announcing "Le Retour de l'ile du Diable an Juif Errant" [The Return of the Wandering Jew from Devil's Island], the return of Alfred Dreyfus from the notorious French prison on Devil's Island for his second trial in 1899. The five cartoon panels depict Dreyfus in a Cinderella figure, accompanied by a band and mostly Jewish supporters who have sold France's honor and drowned the truth. The Dreyfus Affair was a political scandal revolving around antisemitism that inflamed France in the late 19th century. Dreyfus was an army captain found guilty of treason in 1894 for selling French military secrets. Antisemitic publications used Dreyfus as a symbol of the disloyalty of all French Jews. In 1896, another man was tried and acquitted of the crime. Emile Zola wrote a letter to protest the verdict, 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 document proving Dreyfus's guilt. But in a second trial, despite the traitor's confession, the Army again convicted Dreyfus. On September 9, he was sentenced to Devil's Island for another ten years. The verdict was met with outrage around the world and Dreyfus was offered a pardon by the president to end the crisis, which he accepted. This object is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.

Artwork Title
Le Retour de l'Ile du Diable an Juif Errant
Alternate Title
Return to Devil's Island of the Wandering Jew
Object Type
Handbills (tgm)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:30:34
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