Paris (Jul. 12)
Col. Alfred Dreyfus, Jewish officer in the French Army whose unjust imprisonment on Devil’s Island in 1894 created a world-wide furore, died here today after a long illness. He had celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday last October.
Col. Dreyfus had been seriously ill for the last year of a bladder ailment. To the last, he was reported haunted by continual nightmares of his experiences on the notorious penal island.
At his bedside when Col. Dreyfus breathed his last were his wife, his son, Pierre, a daughter, Jeanne, and the latter’s husband, Dr. Pierre Paul Levy, who attended him.
The Dreyfus case, which started in 1894 when a French spy, posing as a charwoman in the German Embassy in Paris, fished a crumpled note out of a waste basket, became a cause celebre for Jews and liberals throughout the world. The note implicated Col. Dreyfus in the alleged sale of French army secrets to the German War Office.
DOCUMENTS WERE FORCED
It was later proved that this and subsequent documents in the affair had been forged and it was generally conceded that a gross injustice had been perpetrated against Col. Dreyfus.
After Col. Dreyfus, at that time a Captain, was convicted of treason by a court martial in 1894, a bitter wave of anti-Semitism, accompanied by anti-Jewish rioting, swep### the country.
In 1898, Emile Zola startled France and the world with his celebrated novel, “J’Accuse,” which presented the case for Dreyfus s# powerfully that a new trial was ordered. At this trial, however, a second verdict of guilty was returned, by a vote of 5 to 2, and Dreyfus was sent back to Devil’s Island for a ten-year term.
Col. Dreyfus was finally cleared and President Loubet granted him full pardon, reinstatement to the army with the rank of major and awarded him the Legion of Honor
One of the most interesting by products of the international affair was that it was one of the most important factors inspiring Dr. Theodor Herzl to start his political Zionism movement.