On 12 July 1906 , after twelve years of bitter struggle, Captain Alfred Dreyfus (1859–35) was rehabilitated by a decree issued by the Court of Cassation, France ’s highest court of justice. Justice had been done, the truth had been proven, the law had been applied, and the 20th century had begun with an affirmation of the most inalienable rights of man and the citizen. This extraordinary battle, after the 1894 trail and ensuing period of J’accuse…!, left a deep mark on individual and national consciences by ensuring the triumph of law and truth over reasons of State.
To commemorate of the centenary of this rehabilitation, the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme, depositary of the archives bequeathed by the heirs of the Dreyfus family, has focused on the fate of a Jewish army officer in France , the worldwide repercussions of the Dreyfus Affair and man’s never-ending struggle for justice. Accompanying Captain Dreyfus from his brutal arrest on 15 October 1894 to his rehabilitation on 12 July 1906 via numerous original documents, mainly from the museum’s Dreyfus archives, one realizes how much Alfred Dreyfus’s struggle is an emblematic example of democracy. For the first time, a Jew was defended as a Jew and as a citizen symbolizing injustice, thus marking the second chapter in the civic integration of the Jews in France .
Alfred Dreyfus. The Fight for Justice does not end with this rehabilitation but continues to the present day, tracking the checkered posterity of the Dreyfus Affair from its sinking into oblivion in the mid-20th century to the era of commemoration.
© Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme