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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Dreyfus Affair’

Dreyfus Letter Fetches nearly $500,000 at Paris Auction

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

A letter handwritten by Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jewish soldier who was wrongly convicted of treason in 1894, was sold at auction for nearly half a million dollars.

The letter, which Dreyfus sent from prison to government officials in an attempt to clear his name, was sold Wednesday for $492,000 at an auction organized by Sotheby’s Paris branch. It was not expected to bring in more than $190,000, according to the French news agency AFP.

Due to Sotheby’s privacy policy, French media did not report the names of the seller or the buyer, but the buyer reportedly participated in the auction over the phone, outbidding several interested parties.

AFP reported that Dreyfus’ grandson, Charles Dreyfus, wrote an open letter this week urging the seller not to sell but to give the letter to a museum.

The letter was “probably given by Pierre Dreyfus, the son of Alfred, to the national French library for safekeeping on May 1940 so that they may protect it from the German occupation,” Sotheby’s said. “The letter was then returned to the Dreyfus family in 1951 and bought” by the person who sold it at Sotheby’s in 1996, the news agency reported.

A captain in the French army, Alfred Dreyfus was exonerated in 1906 of his conviction on charges of spying for Germany after a lengthy court battle rife with anti-Semitic overtones, which historians describe as a determinant of modern Zionism and a major influence on Theodore Herzl – an Austrian journalist who covered the trial and later founded the World Zionist Congress.

The case was widely denounced as a miscarriage of justice, most notably in “J’accuse,” an open letter by Emile Zola published in 1898 on the front page of the newspaper L’Aurore.

Polanski to Shoot the Dreyfus Affair

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Polish director Roman Polanski’s next film will be a political thriller based on the Dreyfus Affair.

The acclaimed director announced Wednesday that the new film, titled “D,” will reunite the team that produced his award-winning film “Ghost Writer.”

Albert Dreyfus was a French Jewish army officer who was falsely convicted of treason in 1894. Anti-Semitism was a major factor in his conviction and in the ensuing 12-year battle to clear his name.

Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl covered the story for a Viennese newspaper and was inspired by the trial to found an international Zionist organization.

Polanski is a Holocaust survivor, and his escape from the Krakow Ghetto was the backdrop for his 2002 movie “The Pianist.” He has lived in Europe since skipping bail after pleading guilty to statutory rape in a California court in 1978.

“I have long wanted to make a film about the Dreyfus Affair, treating it not as a costume drama but as a spy story,” Polanski told the Los Angeles Times. “In this way one can show its absolute relevance to what is happening in today’s world.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/polanski-to-shoot-the-dreyfus-affair/2012/05/11/

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