Captain Alfred Dreyfus, an  Artillery Officer in the French Army was accused of passing secretsto the Germans and found guilty of treason by Court Martial in 1894. The important aspects of the case are . 1. Dreyfus was Innocent.  2. Dreyfus was Jewish.

Dreyfus was a scapegoat in a country poisonously divided between Conservative, largely Catholic, anti-Republicans, and secular, anti-clerical, Republicans.  The former were reactionary and anti-Semitic and the Officer Corps of the Army was largel drawn from that faction.
Dreyfus was stripped of his epaulettes, his sword broken, on the barrack square and he was imprisoned on Devil’s Island, a hell-hole off the South American Coast.

The Brexit Split in Britain was nothing to the Drefusard and anti-Drefusard split in France.Some Jews, who had thought themselves secure in a Republic supposedly devoted to Liberte, Egalite and Fraternite, and the Rights of Man despaired of finding their lives and fortunes safe anywhere in Europe, founded modern Zionism.
One of the most untiring champions of Dreyfus was the novelist Emile Zola, whose “J’ACCUSE”broadside, eventually resulted in the unmasking of the real traitor, and the tactics of his accusers, and overturning of the Captain’s conviction. Dreyfus was reinstated in the Army, fought AGAINST Germany in the Great War in 1915.

The novelist, Robert Harris, in “An Officer and a Spy” deals with the story in his customary brilliant style.

Colonel Andre Serot, born in 1896, like Dreyfus served in the Great War. He won the Croix de Guerre in 1915, whilst still a teenager. By the end of  the Second World War he was a Colonel. In September 1948, travelling, unarmed with Count Folke Bernadotte for the United Nations, he was shot dead on the orders of Yitztak Shamir, who became Prime Minister of Israel in 1974. UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 59 describes the circumstance in more detail, and categorises them.

Comments are closed.