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Anti-Semitism, Media and Zionism Shira Pinczuk University of Winchester HCJ - 2014 The Dreyfus Affair.

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Presentation on theme: "Anti-Semitism, Media and Zionism Shira Pinczuk University of Winchester HCJ - 2014 The Dreyfus Affair."— Presentation transcript:

1 Anti-Semitism, Media and Zionism Shira Pinczuk University of Winchester HCJ - 2014 The Dreyfus Affair

2 What is the Dreyfus Affaire Anti-Semitic political scandal France, 1894 Alfred Deyfus, a Jewish French artillery officer, is accused of spying for Germany La Libre Parole first publishes the story

3 Why is it Relevant? Dreyfus affair: Innocence project Power of mass media Anti-Semitism Jewish nationalism Zionism

4 Political context 1894The Third Republic is twenty-four years old, very divided and broken 1870France has been defeated in the Franco-Prussian war in and lost Alsace- Lorraine 1871Paris Commune 1892 A major corruption scandal around the construction of the Panama Canal has erupted 1889 The Boulangisme

5 Military and French Society The army is seen by the traditional part of the society as the true symbol of French identity It is the “safe-keeper” of tradition Army is active in service and carries sentiments of a “pay- back” for itself and France The army is also racist and anti-Semitic –Captain Mayer, a Jewish officer, is killed in a death duel - which triggers considerable emotion, far beyond Jewish circles There is a gap between army's values and the new republican society: democracy vs. hierarchy and obedience

6 Anti-Semitism Nationalism Jewish emancipation has evolved since the French revolution Concern about the sense of “French greatness” 1886: publication of Jewish France by Drumont The press is virtually free to write and disseminate any information, even when offensive or defamatory. Legal risks are limited if the target is a private person

7 Anti-Semitism in the Media L’Eclair, Le Petit Journal, La Patrie, Intransigeant, La Libre Parole La Libre Parole “France is for French” allows Drumont to further expand his audience to a popular readership La Croix magazine succeeds in bringing together certain groups of Roman Catholics who are seeking to position themselves outside the party politics and ideologies (Hanna Arendt)

8 Hannah Arendt and the Roots of Antisemitism Hanna Arendt Controversial German Jewish Journalist Researched Rahel Varnhgen Jewish German writer, who converted to Catholicism Deals with –Social discrimination –Political Antisemitism


10 The Power of Media Without media we wouldn’t have heard about the story Dreyfus file  Dreyfus affair  Dreyfus myth Media is the big winner of the whole affair Yellow journalism, rather then “eyes and ears for the public” Agenda, propaganda, public opinion Few facts, not accurate, circulation, big headlines, illustrations

11 The Events Sep 1894: Secret French military information is found in wastepaper basket at the German Embassy in Paris The counter-intelligence office immediately implicates Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish French- from Alsace, artillery officer Oct 1894: a secret martial court charges him with treason. He declares his innocence throughout

12 The Affair in The Media October the 28th 1884 La Libre Parole publishes a letter with information about the case of a Captain Alfred Dreyfus: the source is an intelligence Officer, “Henry”. October the 29th La Libre Parole publishes an article about the arrest: “Why do military authorities keep the silence?” they ask. This marks the beginning of a very violent press campaign until the trial. The affair enters the field of anti-Semitism, and it does not leave until its final conclusion November the 1st 1884 Big headlines: “Treason! Jewish officer Capitan Dreyfus has been arrested! “ La Petit Journal launches a personal attack on General Mercier :“Scarecrow General, If he kept silent for 2 weeks it’s only because Jewish people put pressure on him“…

13 The Trial and the Sentence Jan 1895: he is stripped of his military rank and sent to Devil’s Island (French Guinea) for life

14 The Aftermath Mathieu Dreyfus, the elder brother becomes the chief architect of the restoration of his brother’s name France is divided: AgainstIn Favor Army Catholics Church Monarchists Jews Republlicans Socialists Jews

15 Piquard vs Estherazy 1896 French Army Major Esterhazy is identified as the real culprit by Lt Col Piquard High-ranking military officials suppress the new evidence, Esterhazy is acquitted and flees France. Piquard is sent to serve at the southern border of Tunisia

16 Emile Zola

17 1899 “Innocent Project” November 1896 Bernard Lazare – pamphlet “Dreyfus Affair- A Miscarriage of Justice” –ending with the phrase “J’accuse” 13 January 1899 Emile Zola - J’ACCUSE –Strong provocation –200,000 copies sold! –perfect timing –Metaphors –Repetitive key words –Rhythm –Naturalism/observational journalism

18 The Reabilitation 1899: after a massive public campaign Dreyfus is pardoned but not acquitted of charges 1906: Dreyfus is acquitted in court, fully rehabilitated, reintegrated in the ranks with a promotion

19 The Circulation of Media at the Time of the Affair Anti-DreyfussDreyfussards TitleReadershipTitleReadership La Libre Parole500,000L’aurore200,000 Paris Intellectuals Le Petit Journal1,500,000 Roman Catholic


21 Herzl, Lazare and Zionism Bernard Lazare was a French Jewish political journalist, and anarchist 1894: Anti-Semitism, its History and Causes In-depth study and critique of the origins of anti-Semitism. –The Jewish assimilation and dissolution will stop the anti-Semitism. –“It is the oldest of all existing religions, and it would seem right that it should be the first to disappear” –“The number of orthodox Jews is still great and as long as they exist it would seem that anti-Semitism must exist” Doesn’t want to take part with the affair as “Dreyfus family is wealthy enough to sort themselves out - mainly if he is not guilty” Mathieu Dreyfus shows him some of the documents he has, and Lazare joins the fight with passion

22 Bernard Lazare Important for two articles 1.Dreyfus Affair- A Miscarriage of Justice 2.The New Ghetto Dreyfus affair convinces him that the solution for the Jewish problem is a land of their own Friend with Herzl, but later on departs from Herzl’s ideas, as he was bourgeois Dies in 1903 Jews in France didn’t like him only few come to his funeral Mathieu Dreyfus arrive, Alfred Dreyfus is absent.

23 Theodor Herzl Austro-Hungarian journalist and writer, secular Jew. Considered the father of modern political Zionism and in effect the foundation of the State of Israel Active in the debate on Anti-Semitism: –Is proposing complete assimilation: asks the Pope to make a massive baptism for all the Jews in Europe –Is also thinking that leaving Europe is a feasible : “It is essential that the sufferings of Jews…become worse…this will assist the realization of our plans…I have an excellent idea…I shell induce anti-Semites to liquidate Jewish wealth…” (diary) As the Paris correspondent for Neue Freie Presse, Herzl follows the Dreyfus Affair

24 "In Paris, as I have said, I achieved a freer attitude toward anti-Semitism... Above all, I recognized the emptiness and futility of trying to 'combat' anti- Semitism" 1894 is involved in the The New Ghetto 1896 The State of the Jews - envisions the founding of a future independent Jewish State during the 20th century 1897 First Zionist Congress in Basel

25 The end? Strengthening of parliamentary democracy and failure of monarchist and reactionary forces The creation of the French League for Human Rights Anti-Semitism is still prominent. The Dreyfus affair created difficulties, blocking the way for improved relations between France and Italy as Italy was Europe's most Dreyfusard nation. The shock of the Dreyfus Affair also had an impact on the Zionist movement "which found fertile ground for its emergence". Captain Dreyfus monument by Louis Mitelberg The Legacy

26 Thank You Sources

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