A new memorial is being built in France to honour a Jewish French officer wrongly accused and convicted of treason, in what became known as the Dreyfus Affair.
A sculpture of Alfred Dreyfus is taking shape in Mulhouse, Alsace, and will be ready by October, more than 110 years after he was completely exonerated following one of Europe’s most recognisably anti-Semitic incidents.
Dreyfus was accused by colleagues of passing military secrets to the Germans, convicted in closed court, publicly humiliated in front of a baying crowd and imprisoned on Devil’s Island in French Guinea, before the truth came out.
Now, a 2.5-metre granite statue weighing ten tonnes is being constructed in the village where he was born by 40-year old sculptress Sylvie Koechlin, who is Dreyfus’ great great grand-daughter.
It will be unveiled on 9 October – Dreyfus’ birthday – by Bertrand Louvel, the first president of the country’s Supreme Court.
“It will provide a testimony for future generations of the victory of truth over false-hood,” said a spokesman for the Dreyfus Monument Association, which is funding the project.