1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, an innocent Jewish Officer
in the French Army, was convicted on false evidence for a crime
of high treason. He was stripped of his rank, publicly degraded
and deported to the penal colony of Devil's Island to serve a
sentence of life imprisonment in total isolation and under inhumane
conditions. The fight to prove his innocence was to last 12 years.
Dreyfus Affair which ensued caused a deep rift between intellectuals
not only in France but in all of Europe and the United States.
It unleashed racial violence and led to the publication of history's
most famous call for justice 'J'accuse' addressed to the President
of France by Emile Zola, who was to become in the words of Anatole
France "the conscience of mankind".
repercussions of the Affair were felt worldwide for decades to
come and continue to this day. Madeleine, the granddaughter of
Dreyfus perished in Auschwitz. The grave of Alfred Dreyfus in
Paris, bearing her name, was desecrated in 1988.