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Introduction

The Dreyfus Affair, cont.


The author Emile Zola...



The retrial of Alfred Dreyfus...



The campaign to rehabilitate Dreyfus...



Alfred Dreyfus...



Theodor Herzl...


The Dreyfus affair splits France in two. On one side stand the government, the conservative parties, the church and the army, who believe that the honor of the nation may not be sacrificed for the sake of one Jew, guilty or innocent. To the other side rally the progressive forces critical of the regime and its political direction - led by the writer Emile Zola and the politician Jean Jaurès. For them, the affair symbolizes the disregard of justice and human rights in the French republic. More trials follow, but it takes more than a decade - and the fall of the government - until Dreyfus is finally declared completely innocent of the charges.

The affair is followed all over the world. Theodor Herzl, a Jewish journalist from Vienna who covers the trial, concludes that assimilation is no protection against anti-Semitism and that even a person as well integrated as an officer on the French general staff is not safe from the hatred. He comes to believe that Jews will remain strangers in their countries of residence and need a country of their own. His book The Jewish State: A Modern Solution to the Jewish Question is published in 1896 and leads to the founding of the Zionist Organization one year later.


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