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

Site for wrongly persecuted Jewish army officer to be inaugurated in fall 2019 in suburban Paris

A statue of Alfred Dreyfus is erected in Mulhouse, France, October 21, 2016. (Screenshot)
A statue of Alfred Dreyfus is erected in Mulhouse, France, October 21, 2016. (Screenshot)

Preparations are underway for opening a state museum in France for the wrongly persecuted 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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