ALFRED DREYFUS (1859-), French soldier, of Jewish parentage, the scandal of whose condemnation for treason and subsequent rehabilitation convulsed French political life between 1894 and 1899, and only ended in 1906, was born in Miilhausen, Upper Alsace, removing to Paris in 1874.
It was not till the Cour de Cassation ordered a further investigation, and on the 12th of July 1906 decided that his conviction had been based on a forgery and that Dreyfus was innocent, that the agitation came to a final conclusion.
But the anti-Semitic and antiDreyfusard spirit in certain French circles could not easily be quelled even then; and on the occasion of the translation of the remains of Emile Zola (Dreyfus's determined champion) to the Pantheon on the 4th of June 1908, Major Dreyfus was shot at and wounded by a fanatical journalist named Gregori, who was subsequently acquitted by a Paris jury of the charge of attempted murder, his own plea being that he had merely intended a "demonstration."
On the 30th of August, however, he stated that this had been discovered to be a forgery by Colonel Henry, but he refused to concur with his colleagues in a revision of the Dreyfus prosecution, which was the logical outcome of his own exposure of the forgery.
Zola played a very important part in the Dreyfus affair, which convulsed French politics and social life at the end of the 19th century.