Born in Alsace and of Jewish faith, Alfred Dreyfus chose French nationality when Germany annexed Alsace-Lorraine in 1871. He joined the French army.
In 1894, following the discovery of a slip containing information on military secrets sent to the German enemy, Dreyfus was designated as the ideal culprit. At his trial, he was found guilty of treason. He was sentenced to military degradation and deportation to prison in Guyana. After the acquittal in 1898 of the real culprit, the French officer Esterhazy, public opinion was scandalized by the injustice suffered by Dreyfus. The first trial is cancelled. However in 1899, Dreyfus was again condemned by the Council of War of Rennes. He is pardoned by the President of the Republic. In 1906, he was found innocent and rejoined the army. He served as a lieutenant colonel during the First World War. His military career was curtailed by the case. He died in 1935 of a heart attack.
1859 - 1935