Tag Archives: criminal libel

This Day in History: Émile Zola Is Put on Trial for Publishing “J’Accuse” (1898)


Émile Zola Is Put on Trial for Publishing “J’Accuse” (1898)

A Jewish officer in the French army, Alfred Dreyfus was falsely convicted of treason in 1894. When officers discovered that the evidence against Dreyfus was false—and that he was most likely a victim of anti-Semitism—they covered it up. Writer Émile Zola exposed the scandal by publishing in a newspaper an open letter titled “J’accuse.” Zola was tried and convicted of criminal libel but fled the country, which was divided by the scandal. What happened to Dreyfus and Zola? More… Discuss