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dreyfus affair

dreyfus affair in Culture
Dreyfus affair [(dreye-fuhs, dray-fuhs)]

A scandal in France at the end of the nineteenth century involving a Jewish army officer, Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was falsely convicted of betraying French military secrets and was sentenced to life imprisonment. French society was deeply divided over Dreyfus, with liberals, including Émile Zola and Georges Clemenceau, arguing that he was innocent, and conservatives defending the French military authorities. Dislike of Jews also affected the opinions of many in France about the incident. Zola's article “J'accuse” (“I accuse”) strongly influenced the public in Dreyfus's favor. Dreyfus was eventually cleared of all charges, reinstated in the army with a promotion, and publicly honored.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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  • In this sense Herzl could say later that the dreyfus affair had made him a Zionist.

    The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
  • While he was at Nice France was in the throes of the dreyfus affair.

    Letters of Anton Chekhov Anton Chekhov
  • I ventured to say, "Do tell me the real facts about the dreyfus affair."

    The Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life, 1875-1912 Lillie DeHegermann-Lindencrone
  • Betwixt night and morning, the dreyfus affair rent France in twain.

    Romain Rolland Stefan Zweig
  • The famous L'Aurore came into existence, and it set sail at once in the stormy waters of the dreyfus affair.

  • The attention of France is entirely focussed on the dreyfus affair and the Picquart trial.

    My Memoirs Marguerite Steinheil
  • My dear Sister,—You ask me to tell you about the "dreyfus affair."

    The Sunny Side of Diplomatic Life, 1875-1912 Lillie DeHegermann-Lindencrone

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