топик Dreyfus, Captain A lfred, 1859 – 1935

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The name of Dreyfus is one of the most famous in the history of espionage. He was a French army officer of Jewish ancestry who in 1894 was sentenced to life imprisonment for selling mil i tary secrets to the Germans. The high command of the French a r my was strongly anti — Jewish and Dreyfus was a convenient scap e goat. His court martial was carried out as if he had a l ready been found guilty. To serve his sentence he was sent to Devil’s Island, the French prison colony off the coast of Guiana. In 1896 an army intelligence officer found proof that Dreyfus was innocent, but the army chief of staff refused to a c cept it. Support for Dreyfus grew and in 1898 the writer Emile Zola published a fa m ous open letter, “J’accuse”, calling for his case to be re opened. At last, the army brought Dreyfus back from Devil’s Island and r e tried him in 1899. To the amazement of everyone, this second court martial again found him guilty. Such was the public fury that the President pardoned Dre y- fus immediately, but it was not until 1906 that his name was fully cleared, and the real traitor e x posed.

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