HENRY, HUBERT-JOSEPH. (1846-1898). French army officer who forged much of the evidence used against Alfred Dreyfus during the infamous Dreyfus Affair. Visiting Card. 1p. 12mo. Paris, N.d. Henry’s calling card inscribed “souhaits bien affectueux” (“very affectionate wishes”) to a gentleman. The printed card identifies “Commandant Henry” as “attaché à l’Etat-Major de l’Armée / Paris.”

Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus’ 1894 conviction for treason and his subsequent exile and imprisonment on Devil’s Island hinged on an intercepted memo, or bordereau, attributed to Dreyfus, that revealed French military secrets that had been sent anonymously to the German military attaché in Paris by a French officer spying for the Germans, Major Marie-Charles-Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy. Additional evidence intended to implicate Dreyfus was secretly forged and submitted by French Army officers to the military judges presiding over the proceedings. Following his conviction, Dreyfus languished for years in solitary confinement while his family attempted to clear his name as the anti-Semitic French press regularly circulated rumors and lies about him. Esterhazy and Major Hubert-Joseph Henry, a statistical section officer who had forged much of the evidence used against Dreyfus in court, conspired to cover up their involvement by faking even more evidence. The truth finally emerged in the summer of 1898 after Henry confessed and then killed himself in a military prison and Esterhazy fled to England. The Dreyfus Affair’s significance is so far-reaching that the human rights movement, the beginnings of Zionism, and the French separation of church and state can all claim to have been born during this dark chapter in French history.

With nominal dust staining and wear. A small part of the lower left corner is bent. Rare. [indexhistory] [indexJudaica]

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