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The Dreyfus Affair
In 1894, French Army Captain Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a case that many considered even at the time to be a miscarriage of justice. The French writer Emile Zola came to the captain’s defense with a famous open letter titled “J’accuse,” in which he accused the French government of targeting Dreyfus because he was Jewish. Publicly stripped of his rank as thousands of Parisians called for his death, Dreyfus was imprisoned on Devil’s Island. In 1899, Dreyfus was pardoned by the French president and released, and in 1906 a military commission officially exonerated him.