Tag Archives: dreyfus affair

today’s birthday: Georges Clemenceau (1841)


Georges Clemenceau (1841)

Clemenceau was a French journalist and statesman whose politics brought him into conflict with Napoleon III’s government. After spending several years in the US, he returned to France and became mayor of Montmartre. In 1880, he began publishing La Justice, which became the primary organ of Parisian radicalism, and he later published Emile Zola’s “J’accuse,” a passionate criticism of the Dreyfus Affair. He served as premier during World War I and was a key architect of what treaty? More… Discuss

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: THEODOR HERZL (1860)


Theodor Herzl (1860)

Herzl was the founder of modern Zionism. A journalist, he was sent to Paris to report on the Dreyfus Affair and was appalled by the vicious anti-Semitism he observed. Concluding that Jewish assimilation in Europe was impossible and that the only solution to the Jewish problem was the establishment of a Jewish national state, Herzl organized the first Zionist World Congress. At the time of his death, Herzl’s organization was considering establishing a Jewish homeland in what region of the world? More… Discuss

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This Day in the Yesteryear: ÉMILE ZOLA DIES OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING (1902)


Émile Zola Dies of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (1902)

Zola had an ardent zeal for social reform. His part in the Dreyfus Affair, notably his 1898 article “J’accuse,” was his most conspicuous public action and earned him the animosity of the anti-Dreyfus party. Prosecuted for libel, he escaped to England, where he remained until an amnesty enabled his return to France. A couple of years later, he died suddenly under suspicious circumstances, overcome by carbon-monoxide fumes in his sleep. Was it just a tragic accident or something more sinister? More… Discuss

 

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