Page:Jean Jaurès socialist and humanitarian 1917.djvu/61

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CHAPTER III

JAURÈS AND THE DREYFUS CASE

It was not long after Jaurès had definitely joined the Socialist Party that France became harassed and rent with the Dreyfus case. The critical years during which the controversy raged were from the end of 1895 to 1899. After that the “Affaire” died down, though it was not really finished with till later. M. Rappoport calls it: “at once a moral epic, a national drama, a political tragedy, and on certain sides a popular melodrama... Some secondary figures threatened to turn it into a tragi-comic farce. But the atrocious sufferings of an innocent man, and the ideological and political passions aroused, preserved for it, to the end, its serious character. It called into movement a whole world of ideas, passions, interests.”

The “Affaire” seems to have arisen out of a wave of Anti-Semitism, which, resulting from the emancipation of the Jews in the middle of the nineteenth century and the jealousy felt at their consequent increase of power, had visited other countries and passed at that time over