Dreyfus, Alfred

BORN 9 Oct 1859, Mühlhausen, Alsace - DIED 11 Jul 1935, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière du Montparnasse, 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet (division 28)

Son of a Jewish textile manufacturer who moved to Paris around 1871. He was educated at the military École Polytechnique and at the artillery school at Fontainebleau. He joined the army and in 1885 he became a lieutenant and in 1889 a captain.

He married Lucie Hadamard (1870-1945) in 1891 and studied at the École Supérieure de Guerre from 1891 until 1893. During his examination he received poor figures because he was Jewish. In 1894 he was arrested on suspicion of spying for Germany. He was secretly convicted and imprisoned for live at Devil's Island in French Guiana. In 1896 is was discovered that Major Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy was the real spy, but this information was covered up. When this was discovered a national debate took place about anti-Semitism.

Émile Zola and others publicly supported Dreyfuss. Zola wrote an open letter to president Felix Faure titled "J'accuse". He was convicted of libel, but by 1899 the situation had changed. Dreyfus was tried again and the verdict was once more treason, but now he was sentenced to ten years. But there were many indications that he was innocent. President Loubet pardoned him and he was released.

His rehabilitation didn't take place until 1906. He joined the army again, but health problems led to his retirement in 1907. When Zola's ashes were taken to the Panthéon Dreyfus was present. There the journalist Louis Gregori tried to kill him, but he only shot Dreyfus in the arm.

During World War I he joined the army again and in 1918 he became and Officier du Légion d'honneur.

Related persons
• was opponent of Guérin, Jules
• was supported by Trarieux, Ludovic
• has a connection with Waldeck-Rousseau, Pierre Marie


The grave of Alfred Dreyfus at the Montparnasse cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (27 Aug 2001)


Alfred Dreyfus - Wikipedia
The Jewish Agency for Israel - U.S.

Dreyfus-Barney, Laura

Published: 26 Apr 2009
Last update: 25 Apr 2022