The Dreyfus Case

Alfred Dreyfus In the manga, Annelotte and Johachim are illegitimate sons of colonel Maximilien von Schwarzkoppen, military attaché in the German Embassy in Paris. Together with the Italian military attaché Panizzardi he conducted espionage operations. Major Count Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy, commander of a battalion of the French Army stationed at Rouen, made contact with him to sell him secret French documents. It happened that Marie Bastian, working as a cleaning woman in the German embassy but actually employed by the French secret service, found the bordereau (un unsigned list of the secret French documents) in a trash can and sent it to commandant H.J. Henry. Then, there was a traitor! He had to be found and punished. October 13th 1894. Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a jewish junior army officer, was arrested and sent to the prison on Devil's Island. He did not have a fair trial, the conviction was based on falsified documents and Dreyfus was innocent. In 1985 colonel Piquart, convinced that Dreyfus was innocent while there were evidence that Esterhazy was the author of the bordereau, tried to re-open the case. But Esterhazy was found innocent, and Piquart sent to prison and dismissed from the army (He was reinstated in 1906). The writer Émile Zola exposed the affair to the general public in a famous open letter to President Félix Faure titled "J'accuse!", which was published 13 January 1898 in the literary newspaper "L'Aurore". In September of 1899, he was pardoned by the president of France, but it was not until 1906 that Dreyfus was exonerated of the charges and readmitted into the army. He was also made a knight in the Legion of Honour.

♣ Interesting links:
The Dreyfus Affair ~ Usa People Search
Beyond the Pale ~ the Dreyfus Affair
The Dreyfus Affair
France's Moral Sedan: the Dreyfus Affair ~ Student Historical Journal

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