France to Open Dreyfus Museum at Emile Zola House

Partly thanks to Zola’s protests, the 1894 treason conviction of Dreyfus was decried internationally as a miscarriage of justice rooted in anti-Semitism

Former French President Francois Hollande stand in front of a reproduction of French writer's Emile Zola's (1840-1902) letter to the President of the Republic 'J'Accuse' in which he defended  Alfred Dreyfus, during a visit to the Zola house and Dreyfus museum in Medan, near Paris, October 2, 2016.
REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Preparations are underway for opening a state museum in France for the wrongly-persecuted Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus, a prominent historian said.

The new museum is on course for opening late next year in the Parisian suburb of Médan, according to Alain Pages, a retired Sorbonne University professor of history who edits the Cahiers Naturalistes magazine and website about writer Emile Zola.

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.

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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.

The Dreyfus museum will open next fall inside the Emile Zola House in Medan, which is a monument comprising a museum that opened in 1984 for the author, Pages revealed in an interview that he gave the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, and which was published Thursday on that organization’s website.