During the 1890’s and early 1900’s the Third French Republic was severely tested by a political scandal that split the nation. The integrity of the French justice system was tested and and failed. Captain Alfred Dreyfus was accused, and wrongly convicted of selling French military secrets to the Germans. Dreyfus pleaded for a public trial, but was denied one and forced to have a secret trial before seven judges. Dreyfus has a “secret dossier” or secret file of evidence against him that included fabricated letters to the Germans and even an autobiography showing he was a traitor from the first day he joined the French military.
Captain Alfred Dreyfus^
After he was convicted and stripped of his stripes and had his sword broken he cried out, “You are degrading an innocent man! Long live France! Long live the army!” The public was calmed after the conviction because they didn’t doubt the unanimous decision made by seven judges and rumors spread that Dreyfus had confessed to the crime. In 1906 Dreyfus was exonerated of the crime of treason. Below is a picture of Dreyfus’ sword being broken after being found guilty