A Rare Signed Photograph of Captain Alfred Dreyfus

c. 1906

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A Rare Signed Photograph of Captain Alfred Dreyfus
Signed Photograph
1 page | SMC 785

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  • Theodor Herzl


    From the collection of the actor and Dreyfusard, Constant Coquelin, this rare signed photograph of Alfred Dreyfus, who was, Coquelin said during L'Affaire Dreyfus, “the victim of a nation which had singled him out as the scapegoat of a political conspiracy."

    The Dreyfus Affair was, in the words of historian Barbara Tuchman, “one of the great commotions of history." It began in 1894 when, in a miscarriage of justice against a backdrop of espionage and anti-Semitism, a Jewish Army captain, Alfred Dreyfus, was convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island; it ended, finally, it 1906, when all the accusations against Dreyfus were demonstrated to be baseless, and he was reinstated as a major in the French Army. During the twelve years of The Dreyfus Affair, French society was split in two, for and against Dreyfus; the army, the state, the church, the aristocracy, the Jews and ultimately, the truth. All of this was closely observed by a journalist named Theodor Herzl, who saw in France’s explosive anti-Semitism, the impossibility of Jewish assimilation, and the need for Jews to have a state of their own: so that from the persecution of a Jewish Frenchman, came the modern state of Israel.

    Signed Photo (“A. Dreyfus”), black and white, octavo, signed on the mount, no place, no date. From the collection of the great French actor C. [Constant] Coquelin (1841 -1909).
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    Collection C. Coquelin.