Dreyfus Affair Letter Goes on Block for $130K

Sotheby's Will Auction Jailhouse Letter to French Ministry

Moral Strength: French Jew Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a scandal tinged with anti-Semitism. But he was later exonerated.
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Moral Strength: French Jew Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a scandal tinged with anti-Semitism. But he was later exonerated.

By JTA

Published April 18, 2013.
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A letter written by Alfred Dreyfus, a French-Jewish soldier who was wrongfully convicted of spying, is expected to fetch at least $130,000 at an auction in Paris.

The letter will be sold at auction next month by Sotheby’s Paris branch.

Dreyfus, a captain who was cleared of accusations that he spied for Germany, sent the letter from prison in 1895 to the French Interior Ministry, the French news agency AFP reported Wednesday.

His 1894 trial and eventual conviction for acts of treason – which came to be known as the Dreyfus Affair – were at the center of a tense political drama that included accusations of anti-Semitism toward the young Jewish officer. In 1906, Dreyfus was exonerated on all charges, rejoined the army and was promoted.

Last month, France’s Defense Ministry posted online hundreds of documents from his trial, which was later described as a determinant in the genesis of political Zionism.


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