France to open Dreyfus museum at Emil Zola House, historian says

Alfred Dreyfus, circa 1900. A Jewish captain in the French Army, Dreyfus was wrongly accused of treason and imprisoned on Devil's Island. Hhe was acquitted in 1906. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Alfred Dreyfus, circa 1900. A Jewish captain in the French Army, Dreyfus was wrongly accused of treason and imprisoned on Devil’s Island. He was acquitted in 1906. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Preparations are underway for opening a state museum in France for the wrongly prosecuted Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus, a prominent historian said.

The Dreyfus museum will open next fall inside the Emil Zola House in Medan in suburban Paris, which is a monument comprising a museum that opened in 1984 for the author, who championed Dreyfus’ cause.

The plans were aired in an interview with Alain Pages, a retired Sorbonne University professor of history who edits the Cahiers Naturalistes magazine and website about Zola. It was published Thursday on the website of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities.

Partly thanks to Zola’s protests, the 1894 treason conviction of Dreyfus was decried internationally as a miscarriage of justice rooted in anti-Semitic bias, for which the affair became a symbol. In 1899, Dreyfus was pardoned by the French president and released, and in 1906 a military commission officially exonerated him.

The plan to set up a museum for Dreyfus, whose trial served as a catalyst for Zionism, was announced in March by French President Emmanuel Macron.

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