[FR: Si vous arrivez ici à partir de l’article sur Égalité et Reconciliation, bienvenue!! Pour une traduction française fidèle de mon article sur le canular de l’affaire Dreyfus, suivez ce lien. Au bas de l’article, il y a des liens vers des vidéos et des traductions en français de quelques articles de Miles Mathis.]
The story of the Dreyfus affair has been repeatedly chewed up and regurgitated countless times over the past hundred and twenty years. Dozens of books and hundreds of academic articles have been written on the topic. This “comprehensive bibliography” lists over 5,000 items that have been written since the affair ended. An estimate of the number of newspaper articles published just during the affair itself puts the number, conservatively, at 100,000. With newspapers frequently printing multiple editions a day to keep people updated on new developments, the Dreyfus affair received the 19th-century equivalent of 24-hour non-stop blanket news coverage. It truly was the OJ Simpson trial of its day. In fact, as noted by Adam Gopnik in a 2009 New Yorker article on the Dreyfus Affair:
The typical modern media melodrama involves the courtroom: from Scopes to O.J., the dramatic proscenium of a trial gives structure to the spectacle of modern life. The Dreyfus affair, in some ways the first of those dramas, held France spellbound…
For those of you who have read Miles Mathis’ papers on the Manson family trial, the Patty Hearst trial, the Scopes trial, the Salem witch trial, and the O.J. trial (and I recommend you do so before continuing), what you might realize here is that Gopnik is telling us the truth, disguised as metaphor. These trials are dramas, in the sense that they are scripted. And they do give structure to modern life, since they are used to construct and consecrate our manufactured reality, as well as to manipulate our fears and our passions in ways that serve the interests of our governors. And the Dreyfus affair was one of the first, most elaborate and most successful of these manufactured courtroom dramas. Actually, it involved several court cases spread out over a dozen years, along with countless twists and intrigues, with one scholar remarking that “A novelist or dramatist writing such an account would have been accused of exaggeration.”
The unending parade of books and papers and movies and miniseries and made-for-TV-specials and documentaries and websites all devoted to retelling and consecrating the Dreyfus affair have, over the years, covered over the events with an intricate and multi-layered tapestry. (I guess it’s true what they say, if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth.) My aim here is to tease apart the threads of that tapestry and unwind it, to show you that the whole thing was just another manufactured hoax. You might think that with the events having been turned over and picked apart thousands of times, that somebody else might have stumbled across this possibility. But with one notable exception, they haven’t. Human credulity knows no bounds. I can’t really blame them, though. Until recently, I wouldn’t have questioned it, either. But now that I’ve studied it in-depth, I’m here to tell you that it was a giant hoax. The key Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards were all playing for the same team, all of them in on the con. And so was Dreyfus, who never spent a day on the Île du Diable. It may sound absurd. I suggest you read the papers of Miles Mathis that I linked to above. You will then be in a much better position to judge my thesis.
Before laying out the evidence and my argument, let me tell you how I got interested in this topic: After Miles posted my paper on Gandhi, I got e-mails from a few of his readers. One of them wrote, “If there is one thing I have learned in my 62 years of living, is that the BANK$TER$, the ruling elite… or whatever name you like to call them… The BANK$TER$, ALWAYS control both sides, and ALWAYS create their own opposition!” Then on top of that, I had recently read the paper on Saturday Night Live, where Miles says about Arthur Miller: “I will be told Miller ranted against Jews, but we have found that a common theme in my recent papers. It is called creating your own opposition, to replace real opposition and real criticism.” So I had that idea of anti-Semitism being controlled opposition kicking around in the back of my mind, when I read something about how modern political Zionism was founded in the late 19th century in response to rising European anti-Semitism, as exemplified by the Dreyfus affair. That set off some alarm bells, and I thought, “Hmmm… the Dreyfus affair. What was that all about again?” So I went on over to Wikipedia for a refresher and before I knew it—whoosh!—I got sucked down the rabbit hole again. I’ve finally managed to climb back out and dust myself off, and I’m here to report on what I found.
I’m going to start by giving you a quick refresher on the affair. If you’re like me, you probably need one. And then we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details where I pull it apart, showing you what a fraud it was by unmasking some of the key players, and returning at the end to discuss the background of the affair and tell you what I think it was (really) about.
To refresh your memory, allow me to quote Wikipedia at length:
The scandal began in December 1894, with the treason conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian and Jewish descent. Sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly communicating French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris, Dreyfus was imprisoned on Devil’s Island in French Guiana, where he spent nearly five years.
Evidence came to light in 1896—primarily through an investigation instigated by Georges Picquart, head of counter-espionage—identifying a French Army major named Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy as the real culprit. After high-ranking military officials suppressed the new evidence, a military court unanimously acquitted Esterhazy after a trial lasting only two days. The Army then accused Dreyfus of additional charges based on falsified documents. Word of the military court’s framing of Dreyfus and of an attempted cover-up began to spread, chiefly owing to J’accuse, a vehement open letter published in a Paris newspaper in January 1898 by famed writer Émile Zola. Activists put pressure on the government to reopen the case.
In 1899, Dreyfus was returned to France for another trial. The intense political and judicial scandal that ensued divided French society between those who supported Dreyfus (now called “dreyfusards”), such as Sarah Bernhardt, Anatole France, Henri Poincaré and Georges Clemenceau, and those who condemned him (the anti-dreyfusards), such as Édouard Drumont, the director and publisher of the antisemitic newspaper La Libre Parole. The new trial resulted in another conviction and a 10-year sentence but Dreyfus was given a pardon and set free.
Eventually all the accusations against Dreyfus were demonstrated to be baseless. In 1906 Dreyfus was exonerated and reinstated as a major in the French Army. He served during the whole of World War I, ending his service with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He died in 1935.
The Affair from 1894 to 1906 divided France deeply and lastingly into two opposing camps: the pro-Army, mostly Catholic “anti-Dreyfusards” and the anticlerical, pro-republican Dreyfusards. It embittered French politics and encouraged radicalization.
I encourage you to take the Wikipedia link and read the full entry, just so you’ll be familiar with the characters and many of the ins and outs of the story. This chronology is also useful.
Let’s start at the beginning: Alfred Dreyfus. The very first thing you always hear about Dreyfus is that he was an artillery officer. It’s important for them to hammer that in, make sure you don’t question it. One reason is that the letter found in a wastebasket at the German Embassy that was used as evidence against Dreyfus, called the bordereau, was offering to sell information to which an artillery officer would be privy. And it is true that he had come up the ranks in an artillery regiment, being made Captain and stationed at an artillery arsenal. That was in 1889. But in 1891 he entered the elite French war college, often referred to as Saint-Cyr. It’s like the Westpoint of France. In 1893 he graduated and joined the general staff.
The French army had been re-organized following France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian war. The reorganization of the army involved the creation of a general staff that had four departments: the second (a.k.a. the Deuxième Bureau) was Military intelligence, which at the time of the affair had some 20-30 staff officers, whose task was to centralize and analyze intelligence.
Inside the second bureau was a smaller unit responsible for counter-intelligence, given the deceptively innocuous name of the Statistical Section, with 3-4 officers. One of the notable features of the Statistical Section was that it was outside the military chain of command: the head of the section reported to, and took orders from, the Minister of War (like the Secretary of Defense), not the head of the Deuxième Bureau. Thus the Statistical Section was under direct civilian control, making it a kind of a political mole burrowed inside the French army.
According to Wikipedia, “the head of the statistical section in 1894 was Lieutenant-Colonel [note the rank] Jean Sandherr: a graduate of Saint-Cyr, an Alsatian from Mulhouse, and a convinced anti-Semite. Its military mission was clear: to retrieve information about potential enemies of France and to feed them with false information.” Guess who else was from Alsace? Dreyfus. Oh, and wouldn’t you know it, they were both from the same town: Mulhouse. What are the chances? We will see that many of the players involved were from Alsace, some of them from Mulhouse. But I guess since Wikipedia tells us Sandherr was an anti-Semite, they couldn’t have been playing for the same team, could they?
Here is an excerpt from a recent Tablet article on the Dreyfus affair:
Founded in 1871, after France’s disastrous defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, the French counter-intelligence agency…was a crackpot outfit of assassins, spies, and clairvoyants good at forging documents and faking evidence in court martial and other legal hearings. Reminiscent of President Richard Nixon’s former CIA operatives who specialized in dirty tricks, they were the Plumbers of their day. After the Plumbers were caught breaking into the headquarters of Nixon’s Democratic opponents in the Watergate Hotel, the president was forced to resign, and his operatives were convicted for their crimes. But imagine a different scenario. What if the Plumbers had succeeded in their dirty tricks? What if the U.S. military had lined up behind them and the courts had started convicting people on fake evidence, sending them to prison for life? What if the Plumbers, for a dozen years, had led a reign of terror against Jews and other people inscribed on Nixon’s “enemies list”? When the country finally realized what was happening and tried to recover from this trauma, people would have felt that something had gone terribly wrong with the judicial system and government, which had failed to protect them. Such was the effect of the Dreyfus Affair.
Taken at face value, as the mainstream narrative would have us do, none of this appears to be deliberate. Rotten apples behaving badly simply wound up with egg on their face. But just as we can no longer take the Plumbers at face value, neither can we take the Dreyfus affair at face value. That certain voices, values, coalitions and centers of power emerged from the affair discredited, delegitimized, dispersed and disempowered was no accident.
Back to Dreyfus. Here are some key dates: he was appointed to the general staff on January 1, 1893. The ‘bordereau’ letter was intercepted in September, 1894 (some accounts say the summer). It was said to have been found torn up in a trash can at the German embassy by the French (Alsatian) maid who was an asset of French counterintelligence. On October 5, Major Armand du Paty de Clam, who had been put in charge of the investigation, came to suspect Dreyfus. On October 13, Dreyfus received a notice to appear at the General staff office. He was arrested on October 15, and news of his arrest was leaked on October 31. His trial (closed to the public) began on December 19, ending on December 22, where Dreyfus was sentenced to permanent exile, stripped of rank, and a military degradation ceremony. That ceremony took place on January 1, 1895, which is the date written on the mug shot of Dreyfus above. (France, BTW, was the birthplace of mugshots.)
General staff appointees spent their first two years rotating through each of the four departments—6 months in each—before getting their first “real” assignment. This website says that according to historian Vincent Duclert, who wrote an authoritative study on the affair, Dreyfus’s “successive appointments included the first bureau for drawing up the order of battle of the armies, the fourth bureau for the railway service allowing for the concentration of troops, the second bureau for the study of German artillery, and finally the third bureau for ‘the signature of supply registers for covering troops.’”
So according to Duclert, Dreyfus would have been working in the 3rd bureau at the time of his arrest. I haven’t read Duclert’s work, and I don’t know what his sources are. But I have a good source that contradicts him: Alfred Dreyfus. His prison memoirs, covering the years 1894-1899 and aptly titled Five Years of My Life (“by Alfred Dreyfus, Ex-Captain of Artillery in the French Army”), were published in 1901 in French and English. So here we’re talking a primary source straight from the horse’s mouth published very close to the time of the affair.
In this memoir, Dreyfus writes that he was working in military intelligence (Deuxième Bureau) the entire time he was in the general staff. Let that sink in: Dreyfus was not an artillery officer. He was in military intelligence. You won’t find that little nugget of truth anywhere under the enormous piles of BS written on the affair, even though it has been staring historians in the face since at least 1901.
It just so happens that on October 1, 1895—two weeks before his arrest—Dreyfus was re-assigned and stationed with an infantry regiment in Paris. (Let’s see, who else have we seen leaving intelligence two weeks before turning up in a major psyop? Hm…oh that’s right, Sharon Tate’s dad.) Recall that they came to suspect Dreyfus on October 5 (or so we are told). This is absurd for many reasons, not the least of which is because the bordereau, which was discovered in September, was about military artillery secrets. It is said that suspicion fell on him since he was an artillery officer. But that makes no sense, because he had not been in artillery since 1890 when he entered St. Cyr and, upon graduation, entered Military Intelligence in 1893. You might tell me that his role in the infantry regiment probably involved artillery, but he wasn’t in that position when the bordereau was discovered, and had only been there for a few days when he fell under suspicion. The bordereau is translated in The Tragedy of Dreyfus. It states that the author of the letter would only have the field artillery manual in his possession for a few days while he was ‘out on manoeuvers.’ It says he is ‘just starting for the manoeuvers.’ But recall that when the memo was written, Dreyfus was working in the Deuxième bureau, so he wouldn’t have been going out on artillery manoeuvers.
Now, if this were a mainstream history, I would tell you that this is all further evidence that Dreyfus was set up by anti-Semitic Revanchist bad guys in the army, such as Major (later Lt. Col.) du Paty de Clam and his wicked henchman, Major (later Lt. Col.) Henry. But no. To me these glaring inconsistencies are a sign that the affair was manufactured, especially since these facts would have been known to the people who accused and sentenced him—regardless of whether they thought Dreyfus’s handwriting matched that in the bordereau.
Here’s another glaring inconsistency: the entry in Dreyfus’s prison diary for November 4, 1895 reads “Terrific heat, over 45° Centigrade (113°Farenheit).” Now, how would he know the temperature? Did they give him a thermostat on Île du Diable? Maybe a barometer, too, so he could set up his own little weather station? Of course back then, people didn’t know much about the climate in New Guinea and didn’t really have a way to find out. But they knew it was hot, and 45° is pretty dang hot. The poor man! But in today’s day and age, we have a little thing called the internet, and “facts” like this can be checked. According to the Weather Underground, French Guiana’s highest ever recorded temperature was on November 3, 2015. It was 37.9° Celsius. That’s 7°C lower than Drefyus reported. (For Americans, that’s the difference between 113°F and 100°F.) Not clear how long they’ve been recording temperatures there, but if we are to believe in global warming, things are supposed to be hotter now than they were back then. The climate in French Guiana is typically tropical with little seasonal temperature variation. The daily average maximum temperature is 29°C with the average minimum 23°C, while in June the average maximum is 31°C with a minimum of 23°C. So no, Alfred, I’m sorry, but it was never 45°C on your little island. I guess your thermometer was broken. Or… maybe you just made it all up?
In some accounts we are told that he spent his 5 years locked up in a cell and that they built a wall so he wouldn’t even be able to see the sea. But in these memoirs, he gets to leave his cell and walk outside. The diaries are written in a cloying, “oh woe is me!” style that just sounds preposterous. As Albert Lindemann writes in The Jew Accused, “Anyone who reads Dreyfus’s memoirs or his letters to his wife can hardly avoid the sense of reading a bad novel, filled with mawkish and self-congratulatory passages.” Yes, it does read like a bad novel. Much of it is filler where he is just writing in his diary to complain about waiting for the mail to come. If Samuel Beckett had written a play about Dreyfus’s years in prison, he would have called it Waiting for Mail.
You might wonder how a military officer accused of high treason and court martialed could escape the death penalty. According to Wikipedia, there was a public outcry about this: “Jean Jaurès [a “socialist” politician] regretted the lightness of the sentence in an address to the House and wrote: ‘A soldier has been sentenced to death and executed for throwing a button in the face of his corporal. So why leave this miserable traitor alive?’” Yes, why indeed? All we get is a bunch of misdirection about him being accused of a political crime and the death penalty having been abolished for such crimes in 1848. I couldn’t find any such law from 1848, nor any clarity from any source on this matter. There was a law passed in 1886 that defined espionage as a political crime and outlawed the death penalty for Espionage. Apparently he was charged under this law. The problem is that the maximum punishment for espionage under this law was 5 years in prison. But Dreyfus was sentenced to life in prison in exile. If they were not bound by the espionage law in sentencing him, they could have sentenced him to death, as they apparently routinely did for less severe crimes. Of course they couldn’t disappear him for good at that point, since his eventual exoneration was part of the plan. They just had to hide him away for a few years. Not hard to do.
Another inconsistency concerns the notion that Major Du Paty de Clam (head of the investigation) “tried to suggest suicide by placing a revolver in front of Dreyfus but he refused to take his life saying he ‘wanted to live to establish his innocence.’” But in his memoir, Drefyus says that after the handwriting test, “Du Paty arose, placing his hand on my shoulder, cried in a loud voice: ‘In the name of the law, I arrest you; you are accused of the crime of high treason.’” Because apparently that’s how people actually talked back then. You’d think if Du Paty had put a revolver in front of him and encouraged him to off himself, he would have mentioned it. Remember that this book was published while Dreyfus was trying to clear his name, since a cloud of suspicion still hung over him because he had been found guilty in his retrial but pardoned by the President. He was only fully exonerated a few years later.
I encourage you to take a detour for a moment and watch the short film directed by Georges Méliès on the Dreyfus affair, which was released shortly after Dreyfus’s retrial in Rennes in 1899. You’ll see the dramatic moment with the revolver as part of the script. I guess they had a different committee ghostwriting the memoirs. Another film company of the time, Biograph (a spin-off of Edison’s film company), filmed Dreyfus emerging from his prison cell at Rennes for exercise, but then he “suddenly” notices the camera and goes back inside. It’s sold as a candid moment, but it’s complete theater. Movie cameras in the 1890s were enormous, loud and weighed half a ton. There is no way they could have secretly or discreetly set up the camera like modern day paparazzi. Yet further indication that Dreyfus was acting a part. See that last link for a description of a movie made by the same company about a famous duel between Emile Zola and Henri Rochefort, passed off as a re-enactment of a real event. But it has now been admitted that the duel never actually happened, making it yet another example of fiction passed off as historical fact via the magic medium of film.
One final inconsistency (out of many) that I want to highlight from Dreyfus’s memoirs is what the editor of the book says in the preface: that the bordereau was found by the maid in the overcoat pocket of the German military attaché (aka intelligence bureau chief), Count (and Colonel) Maximilian von Schwartzkoppen. This version of events can also be found in Méliès’s movie I linked to earlier. But subsequent histories will tell you that the bordereau was found torn up in von Schwartzkoppen’s wastebasket. A minor detail, but the inconsistency is telling. As we have seen in many other cases, it is a sign of a hoax.
Correspondence between von Schwartzkoppen and the Italian attaché at the time, Panizzardi, later surfaced showing that the two had been carrying on a homosexual affair. The letters were supposed to have been part of the ‘secret file’ of evidence that was shown to the judges but not shown to the defense attorney (for reasons of national security, naturally). It is now acknowledged that most of the documents in the secret file were ‘forgeries’ that were added to the file after Dreyfus’s first trial, and it is not clear which documents were seen by those judges. Of course, calling some of the documents forgeries implies that some of the documents were genuine, but keep in mind that if they forged some of the documents, they could have forged all of them.
Now, what would a manufactured hoax be without doctored photos? Here are some Dreyfus family photos:
The first two are from Getty, the third is from Wikipedia. The first and third photos have been pieced together and heavily retouched by hand. The second one looks like an actual photograph, though you can easily tell that Dreyfus and his son were pasted in there (they look like cardboard cutouts and the lighting is totally different). The (strange) background was also pasted in. Ask yourself: if a real photo exists (number 2), then why would they need to retouch his wife and daughter so heavily in the Wikipedia picture that almost look as if they’ve been drawn by hand? Here’s a thought: the Wikipedia photo is dated 1905. In his memoirs, Dreyfus says that on the day of his arrest, his son Pierre was 3 ½ years old. That was 1894. His daughter Jeanne was born Feb 22, 1893. So she is supposed to be 10 years old there. She doesn’t look 10 in the Getty pic (number 2). She looks more like 7 or 8. Maybe they retouched her in other pics so heavily to make her look older to fit with the timeline?
Here is a ‘family reunion’ picture said to be from Dreyfus’s sister’s estate in Carpentras dated 1900. (Of course he was from a wealthy industrialist family—textiles, natch—and married the daughter of a wealthy diamond merchant):
The guy in the middle looks pasted in based on the white line around him. Dreyfus’s wife and son are a bit blurrier than the rest, but that could be because they moved while the picture was being taken. But it’s kind of weird to have a family reunion in Alfred’s honor without poor Alfred, don’t you think? Here is a ‘family reunion’ picture with Dreyfus pasted in, plus lots of other weird things going on:
He sure looks happy to be back with the family, doesn’t he? It’s hard to know where to start with this one. The first thing that pops out is the big white blotch of paint (?) on his face that even covers part of his moustache. I assume they were trying to lighten his face. Also look at the shadows under his chin. They’re quite a bit darker than the shadows under everyone else’s chin. His head looks pasted onto the body. He’s also not in the same focus as everyone else in the picture, which is hard to notice until you zoom in. And notice how small and skinny his head is. They’ve squished in his face. Perhaps to make him look like he has actually been starving on a tiny Island in South America. Or to make his head fit onto the body he’s pasted onto. I don’t know. His hat looks pasted on as well, and we might ask why it isn’t casting a much larger shadow on his face, since the light in the picture is coming from above. And what’s up with that ridiculous hat anyway? Is that supposed to be a memento he brought back from Île du Diable? Why not paste in a sombrero, a serape and some maracas while you’re at it?
But Dreyfus isn’t the only weird thing going on in that picture: for example, look at his brother-in-law on the right, who appears to have been pasted in front of the person he is blocking (or they hired a terrible photographer). His face is several steps darker than anybody else in the picture, and Alfred’s daughter’s face next to him is also a fair bit darker than everyone else’s, but still lighter than him. And notice the mystery woman with her arm around Alfred’s son, Pierre. She either has a very short arm or her arm is draped around him in a most unnatural and uncomfortable way. In fact, the more I look at this picture, the more I wonder if there is any part of it that is not a paste-in.
Another weird thing, in the first family photo, the man standing in the middle in the back is labeled as Mathieu Dreyfus, Alfred’s older brother. But here is another picture of Alfred and Mathieu together, dated from late 1899 to early 1900, with same location given as the family reunion photos. This is one of the few photos of Dreyfus I could find that to my eye appears untouched.
Mathieu is on the left. He looks a lot older than in the pic above, right? Which makes sense since he is Alfred’s older brother. Also notice that Alfred looks quite a bit “wider” in this pic. Here is another picture of Alfred from that same “reunion”:
Another obvious paste-up (photomontage). Just zoom in and look at the area above his head. It doesn’t even seem like they’re trying. All this photo funny business is just perplexing. If Dreyfus was indeed a real person with a real family, why the need for all these paste-ups and draw-ins? Was Drefyus just a made up character who was inserted into this drama? How much of his life is real and how much a fiction? We may never know. And what about the rest of the players?
His head in profile is flattish and tapers like a vulture’s to a great beak of a nose. His moustache is large and swept back. His eyes are round and protuberant: not natural, but crazy, like glass balls pressed into the skull of a skeleton in a medical school.
– Robert Harris, An Officer and a Spy
Esterhazy is one of the most colorful characters in this ridiculous soap opera. A dastardly villain with a flair for the dramatic. It was not for nothing that Joseph Reinach, the first “historian” of the affair (and a key player in it), wrote that “the communicative frenzy of this astonishing play-actor had an endless fascination.” Play-actor, indeed. Eszterhazy was the guy who was eventually fingered as the author of the bordereau. In other words, he was supposed to have been the real traitor who initially escaped suspicion while Drefyus was sentenced for a crime he didn’t commit. Through a whole series of serendipitous coincidences and the admirable pluck of the honorable new head of the Statistical Section, Col. Piquart, Esterhazy eventually came under suspicion. We are told that Eszterhazy demanded a court martial to clear his name. Is that how these things work? I didn’t realize military court martials are handed out by request. “The Esterhazy Court-Martial was lead up to through a maze of intrigue which read half like a novel of Gaboriau’s and half like a burlesque opera” (from The Tragedy of Dreyfus). Rather than getting dragged into the ins-and-outs of this cocktail of misdirection, let’s instead look at some of the things they don’t want us to notice about Walsin-Esterhazy.
First of all, his last name: Esterhazy. The Esterhazy’s were an incredibly wealthy noble family from a region spanning Austria and Hungary. Was Esterhazy himself Jewish? The Eszterhazy line is said to be descended from the clan of King Salomon of Hungary, but he didn’t have any heirs and was dethroned by his uncle and nephews. He was married to Judith. King Salomon and Queen Judith could only sound more Jewish if you called them Shlomo and Yehudit. How precisely this King is linked to the Eszterhazy’s I couldn’t discover. It is said that they trace their origins back to King Solomon of Hungary in the 11th century, but the genealogy I could find only goes back to the 13th century, with the family name Salomon. That name dies out in the 15th century with Miklos Salamon de Salamon-Watha, whose children (for unknown reasons) take on a different family name. His son, Balazs Szerhas des Szerhashaz is the forbear of the Eszterhazy name. The Esterhazy’s were also known for being very good to the Jews, with many Jews coming to settle on their land, even during periods when they were expelled from other areas. The city of Eisenstadt, where they had a palace, is still a common Jewish surname.
Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy was the son of a General, Louis Joseph Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy, who was in turn the son of Joseph Marie Auguste Walsin-Esterhazy de Ginestous, who was the bastard son of Marie Anne Eszterhazy de Galantha and Jean André Cesar de Ginestous. This couple was not married, and we are told that their bastard child was formally adopted by Dr. Walsin, the French doctor of the Austro-Hungarian royal family (according to the French Wikipedia page on our Ferdinand). Ferdinand’s great grandmother was Marie Anne Esterhazy, who was extremely rich, being the great-great granddaughter of Nikolaus Esterhazy (1583–1645), under whom the Eszterhazy family rose to great prominence. On her mother’s side, her great grandfather was Isaac de Lautal de Roquan, though none of the rest of the family have typically Jewish first names.
It wasn’t just the Esterhazy family that was a friend of the Jews. So was Ferdinand himself:
…on the story of Esterhazy, the Shakespearean scoundrel as William James called him, there is no end of interesting material. For instance…if in the years before the Dreyfus Affair you were a Jewish officer in the army who had been insulted by a professional anti-Semite, say Drumont, in the press, the thing to do was to challenge your insulter to a duel. Ah, but that was difficult. You had to find someone to assist you to serve as your second in a duel—not so easy, preferably a non-Jew to vouch for your honor. Well, it turned out that there was a man who set up a concession; he could be hired out to serve as a second for Jewish officers whose honor had been doubted in the press, questioned in the press, attacked in the press. That guy, the man who had the concession to assist Jewish officers in defending their honor, was none other than Esterhazy, the future villain of the Affair. And, by the way, the man who would get you in touch with Esterhazy, if you were the Jewish officer— because how would you find him?—well, it was Zadoc Kahn, the Chief Rabbi of Paris, who said I can put you in touch with the man who will help you out in this embarrassing situation. So, just think that, as late as, shall we say, 1890 or so, if you were a Jewish officer whose honor had been attacked, the man who would help you defend your honor was Esterhazy, the future villain of the Affair.
According to Wikipedia, “Through the medium of Zadoc Kahn, chief rabbi of France, Esterhazy obtained assistance from the Rothschilds (June, 1894). At the same time he was on good terms with the editors of the anti-Semitic newspaper La Libre Parole, which he supplied with information.” So was he just an opportunist playing both sides against each other? Or was this an indication of a connection between Drumont and the Rothschilds? Esterhazy, by the way, didn’t need Zadoc Kahn: he was on good terms with the Rothschilds, having attended high school with Edmond (From The Return of the Rothschilds, pp. 116-17):
In 1892, following the Libre Parole’s campaign against Jews in the army, Edouard Drumont was challenged by one of them, Capt. Ernest Cremieu-Foa. Esterhazy agreed to serve as one of the Jewish captain’s seconds. … And the spendthrift Major Esterhazy proceeded to ingratiate himself both with the Drumont crowd and the Rothschilds. In June 1894—four months before the secret agent’s message to the German embassy—Esterhazy had written both to Alphonse de Rothschild and his youngest brother, Edmond (who had been his lycée classmate). He was desperate for funds, he said; because he was considered friendly to Jews, his in-laws refused to help him, and so he could no longer support his ailing wife and small daughters…. The Rothschilds decided to help this impossible man—because he had seemed a friend to Captain Crémieu-Foa, and of course had been a classmate of Edmond (who had helped him with money more than once)… Soon after writing the Rothschilds, Major Esterhazy paid his first call on the German military attaché in Paris. To save his wife and children from starvation, said he, he wished to sell military secrets to the Germans.
We are told Esterhazy sold secrets to the Germans because he needed the money. I don’t tend to believe it. We have seen that he was descended from wealthy nobility and his father was a general. He and his sister received a generous pension from the government after his father died. They tell us he was a gambler and spendthrift to make the story seem plausible. But we’ve seen time again how they make wealthy people out to be poor as dirt, and we can rest assured that Esterhazy’s money troubles are also make-believe. Indeed, we are told by Wikipedia that after the trial, “The army declared Major Esterházy unfit for service. To avoid personal risks he went into exile in England, where he lived comfortably and ended his days in the 1920s. Esterházy benefited from special treatment by the upper echelons of the army, which was inexplicable except for the General Staff’s desire to stifle any inclination to challenge the verdict of the court martial that convicted Captain Dreyfus in 1894.”
That’s the only explanation? Try this one on for size: this general’s son, intelligence operative, descendant of royalty and Rothschild classmate was protected his entire life and rewarded for doing his part in the Dreyfus affair. If he was such a degenerate gambler and spendthrift that he needed to sell state secrets to feed his family, how did he manage to retire comfortably to England until the end of his life? And if the Rothschilds decided to help him, why did he then immediately turn around to sell the secrets after writing them—unless he was acting on orders? As usual, the story contradicts itself on the same page, and then the contradictions are ignored.
One final wrinkle with the Esterhazy story worth exploring, from his Wikipedia entry:
The French historian Jean Doise espoused the revisionist hypothesis that Esterhazy might have been a French double agent masquerading as a traitor in order to pass along misinformation to the German army. Doise was not the first writer to explore the hypothesis of Esterhazy as a double agent: earlier writings by Michel de Lombarès and Henri Giscard d’Estaing, though differing in the details of their theories, also presented this line of argument.
Given that Esterhazy himself later confessed in a British newspaper that he had indeed authored the bordereau and passed it along to the Germans as disinformation, it’s hardly a surprising hypothesis. The problem is that, if true, it completely blows the lid off the whole affair. And there’s a very good reason to believe it’s true, in addition to Esterhazy’s confession. The author of the bordereau hinted at divulging information about France’s 120mm howitzers, even though by that time the 120mm guns had been either abandoned (according to Wiki) or, according to this article in Tablet magazine, were being phased out in favor of a newer quick-firing 75mm gun:
Doise argued that Esterhazy was a double agent disguised as a traitor, tasked with planting disinformation. He was peddling “secrets” about the technologically obsolete 120 mm Baquet howitzer, which the French army was about to replace. Selling old secrets and framing Dreyfus to make this information look important was a ruse designed to keep the Germans from discovering France’s real military secret, the development of the new quick-firing 75 mm field gun. The French 75 was ahead of its time technically. The Germans and Americans did not produce a field gun that matched its performance until 20 years later, on the eve of World War I. In fact, in 1918, the U.S. Army simply adopted the French 75 as its own and began building the gun under license in the United States. Doise argued that Esterhazy’s bordereau was merely one among many ruses designed to keep the Germans in the dark. Dreyfus was sacrificed for reasons of state—or, as we say today, for national security.
Wait a second! Not so fast. Do you see the problem here? This story Doise is peddling is that they wanted to publicize the traitor to make it appear as if the information he offered to the Germans about the 120mm gun was credible in order to keep them off the scent of the 75mm. But Esterhazy took his orders from Lt. Col. Sandherr, the same guy who put du Paty de Clam in charge of the investigation. Why would you have to mount an investigation just to frame somebody? And are we to believe that Sandherr really sacrificed Dreyfus, ran him through the ringer, and sent him off to exile in Île du Diable, all for the sake of this ruse? Wouldn’t it make more sense to make it appear as if he had been court martialed, exiled, etc.? But beyond that, recall that the subsequent head of counter-intelligence, Lt. Col. Picquart, is said to have risked his career and his honor to help clear the name of Dreyfus (his former student at St. Cyr) and bring Esterhazy to justice. Are we supposed to believe that the new counterintelligence chief was unaware of the disinformation plan? Otherwise, why would he do all that? It also contradicts the story that he sold the letter for money. None of it makes sense, as usual, surrounded by noise and misdirection and internally inconsistent details to keep us chasing our tails endlessly trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This whole thing smells like another manufactured hoax from top to bottom. All these alternative conspiracy theories are just to keep people off the scent, like with JFK. I liken them to military countermeasures like flares and chaff. Our job is to home in on the truth behind the chaff. The question then is: why did they manufacture this hoax? I’ll get to that towards the end.
Finally, you might have noticed the number 74 on Esterhazy’s hat in those photos. That’s supposed to be the number of his regiment. But what you generally won’t learn by reading histories of the Dreyfus affair is that Esterhazy had formerly worked in the statistical section. In other words, he was also military intelligence. (This from the book, The Return of the Rothschilds.) In fact, if you look at his bio, it just reeks of being an agent.
Zola’s unravelling follows naturally from Esterhazy, because Zola published his famous “J’accuse…!” essay on the heels of Esterhazy’s exoneration at his court martial. That essay, which proved to be a turning point in the affair, was published in the newspaper owned by his friend, Georges Clemenceau, who was later Prime Minister of France (twice), including during WWI. Clemenceau of course came from wealth, and the combination of wealthy politicians who owned newspapers was very common in France (and elsewhere) back then. (Remember what Edward Bernays told us: “Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.”) Clemenceau was the leader of the Radical Party, but of course this was a convenient label with no real meaning—he turned on the workers who revolted during the Paris commune and was later implicated in the Panama scandal (see below). If Clemenceau was not Jewish, he was certainly allied to the projects elite Jews were running in France in the 19th century—including the Dreyfus affair.
But I am stopping on Zola mainly because of what he represents. Zola’s writing style, dubbed ‘Naturalism,’ was a kind of precursor to Modernism, which could be glossed as the triumph of ‘theory’ over aesthetics. The struggle for the soul of art and the importance of craft started well before the 20th Century. (The controversy over the overlapping construction of the Eiffel Tower and its antithesis, Sacré Coeur, is the epitome of this struggle.) Although he was famous, Zola’s work at the time was actually not very well received. His success was due largely to promotion, and his involvement in leading the triumphant Dreyfusards earned him a recognition far beyond what he would have achieved with his literature alone. From The Jew Accused (page 114):
Zola was France’s most famous writer at this time. He was more than a writer of popular novels; he had also become a public figure, a symbol. For the Catholic right wing in France, Zola personified the modern trends that so offended traditional, religious sensibilities. His highly successful and lucrative novels were considered sensationalist, tawdry, even obscene, certainly lower in moral tone than Drumont’s works. They were, in short, for traditionalists in France typical products of the debased, secular culture that had grown up under the Republic, the “slut” (la gueuse). Children in conservative families were taught to call their potties Zolas.
Given the reputation and quality of his own writing and his defense of Dreyfus, then, it seems a bit odd that:
Like many French intellectuals, right and left, Zola was alarmed by the rapid rise of Jews in France, not only in its economic but even more in its cultural life. His main concern in composing J’Accuse! was not to express sympathy for Jews or even to fight for justice on their behalf; it was rather to counter what he believed were reactionary, Jesuit, and militarist conspiracies, concerning which he harbored fantasies that were strikingly akin to those harbored by Drumont in regard to the Jewish Syndicate. Just as it was sufficient, for many in France, to learn that Zola was supporting Dreyfus for them to decide to join the Anti-Dreyfusards, so it was with Zola: He had only to see who Dreyfus’s enemies were in order to come to Dreyfus’s aid. (Ibid., p. 116)
Of course, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So if Zola’s enemies were the enemies of wealthy French Jews, then by implication Zola was their friend. I frankly don’t have the energy or patience to trace his genealogy or friendship networks, but Zola seems squarely in their corner working to undermine the influence of the Catholic church and traditional aristocracy, as well as certain recalcitrant elements in the army, under the banner of la République. This is what the Dreyfus affair aimed to achieve, in part. But during this time wealthy Jewish industrialists and merchants were blamed, mostly justifiably, for undermining traditional artisans and local shopkeepers (the petit-bourgeoisie) with mass-produced items sold for less at bigger department stores. Their Jewish background may have been incidental to their business practices, but the fact that they were Jewish certainly added to the sense of traditional French society and the aristocracy that they were under siege.
If you want evidence of Zola’s connections to intelligence, you need look no further than his trial. “J’accuse” had accused and implicated leading French politicians in a deliberate fabrication of documents to frame Dreyfus and cover-up to hide their actions. He was tried for libel. Wikipedia tells us that he “was convicted on 23 February and removed from the Legion of Honor. Rather than go to jail, Zola fled to England. Without even having had the time to pack a few clothes, he arrived at Victoria Station on 19 July. After his brief and unhappy residence in London, living at Upper Norwood from October 1898 to June 1899, he was allowed to return to France in time to see the government fall.” WTF? Aren’t defendants who are found guilty immediately taken into custody in court? How was Zola able to escape? We aren’t told. But that is not a typo in Wikipedia: according to the official story he was walking around Paris for five months before “fleeing” to London “without even having time to pack a few clothes.” What were the French police doing during all this time? Why wasn’t he put in jail? Did they put inspector Clouseau on the case? According to this site, he only returned to France “after Dreyfus was pardoned,” which was on Sept. 19, 1899. But it was Dreyfus who was pardoned, not Zola. His conviction would still stand whether or not a new government was elected. We’ve seen in many of Miles’ papers that the only type of person who can walk around free after being convicted, “flee” the authorities only to return to France as a fugitive from justice and just continue living your life as if nothing had happened is a spook (an intelligence operative).
In 1899, Emile Zola wrote in a newspaper article entitled “The Fifth Act”: “Has no one noticed that this Dreyfus Affair, this gigantic drama that has roused the universe, seems to have been staged by some sublime playwright [wink, wink], determined to make it an incomparable masterpiece?” That’s right, Emile, nobody noticed. Not even when you told them straight to their faces. But haven’t you heard? Truth is stranger than fiction. Or so they tell us. I guess spreading that lie helps them pass off these absurd stories as real. If you’re wondering who the script writer was behind this masterful psyop, I think we may have found our man. Or one of them, at least. I guess he just couldn’t hold it in. The image of the ever honorable Dreyfus condemned to an island prison only to return and be redeemed seems to have borrowed elements from Cyrano de Bergerac and The Count of Monte Cristo, among others. In other words, if the Dreyfus drama seems to have borrowed heavily on elements and themes from French literature of the era, it’s because it did.
Zola’s trial proved a turning point in the affair, as it marked a steep increase in anti-semitic sentiment and sparked a wave of anti-Jewish riots throughout France. Here I will just quote three passages from The Jew Accused to give you a sense of the period.
“But it seems clear enough that Zola’s goal was not to win a case in court. Rather, it was to put life back into the case against the army, and in that goal he certainly succeeded, well beyond what he intended. In the process he persuaded many who had so far remained uninvolved that the Dreyfusards were reckless destroyers and irresponsible slanderers, out to make political mileage by attacking prominent military men and undermining the army, unconcerned that in the process they were jeopardizing the nation. (p.115)
“Zola’s charges and his subsequent trial, in which he was found guilty of libel, pulled thousands into the Affair who had so far remained uninvolved. Anti-Jewish riots spread throughout France, to some seventy towns and cities; mobs screamed “Death to the Jews” and attacked synagogues, Jewish shops, and Jews on the streets. The police often seemed ineffective, perhaps even in sympathy with the rioters. (p.116)
“In the following weeks and months anti-Jewish boycotts were organized, and the anti-Semitic leagues sprang back to life, gaining an unprecedented following. The belief of Mathieu and other Jewish leaders that sensational publicity could be dangerous was now painfully confirmed. To the easily excited, France appeared to be on the edge of a full-fledged popular uprising against the Jews. In short, Zola not only succeeded in putting life back into the campaign to free Dreyfus, but even more powerfully revived the previously unsuccessful anti-Semitic movement of the late 1880s and early 1890s.” (p.116)
The last major figure we’ll look at in depth is Edouard-Adolphe Drumont, sometimes called “the Pope of Anti-Semitism.” Drumont ran a newspaper called La Libre Parole. According to Wikipedia, “with the emergence of the Dreyfus affair, La Libre Parole enjoyed considerable success, becoming the principal organ for Parisian antisemitism.” Drumont also wrote a virulently anti-Semitic book published in 1886, titled La France Juive (“The Jewish France”). The 1,200 page two-volume work is said to have gone through 100 printings and over 100,000 copies in the first year, with a million copies sold over 25 years. Of course we these numbers can be fabricated, and we may speculate that they were here as well, partly to beef up Drumont’s profile and raise his stature.
In The Jew Accused, Lindemann describes Drumont’s book as:
…scissors-and-paste anti-Semitism, assembled with almost comical defiance of consistency and judiciousness. La France juive was a two-volume work, with many of the trappings of scholarship, but Drumont was anything but a serious scholar, nor could his scribblings be compared to those of Toussenel (from whom he borrowed amply) or other, more talented and respectable writers like Barres and Wagner. Drumont’s volumes were an ill-digested, credulous, derivative, journalistic compendium.
Only one consideration seemed to interest him: to include anything and everything negative that might be said about the Jews, the more outrageous the better, even if one account implicitly contradicted the next. Accounts of ritual murder out of the Middle Ages found their place next to factual (if still credulous) examinations of Jewish political and economic power. Drumont borrowed from premodem and modem, rightwing and left-wing, Catholic and secular, the relatively serious and factual along with the ludicrous and absurd – a potpourri of anti-Semitic anecdotes, legends, rumors, and heavy-handed jokes.
It would be quite remarkable, then, to discover that Drumont—the Pope of Anti-Semitism—was Jewish or aligned with Jews. If he was, then it seems like a clear indication that he was playing his part in the psyop (psychological operation) and that his supposed anti-Semitism was just part of the con—set up as a foil and fall guy to discredit criticism of Jewish influence in France. As it turns out, there are many indications that Drumont was Jewish. To begin with, we have this entry on him from The Jewish Encyclopedia:
French anti-Semitic author and former deputy from Algeria; born at Paris on May 3, 1844. Drumont’s ancestry is not Jewish, as has been sometimes asserted…. In 1886 Drumont withdrew from the staff of the “Liberté” (owned by Péreire, a Jew), claiming that the newspapers were unduly controlled by the Jews. He then issued his famous work in two volumes, “La France Juive,” a book which may be regarded as the beginning of the anti-Semitic movement in France.
When I first read this, I thought, “isn’t it a bit odd that his bio starts out by denying that he’s Jewish?” Can’t you just sense when you’re being misdirected? They might as well tell us in their best Obi-Wan Kenobi voice: “This is not the Jew you are looking for.” One of the reasons it seemed strange to me to start out the bio with such a clear denial was that I hadn’t seen anybody assert or even insinuate that Drumont might be Jewish in anything I had read. So I googled Edouard Drumont jewish and ‘is edouard drumont jewish’ and other permutations. But since he’s the pope of anti-Semitism, those searches lead nowhere on the question of whether he’s Jewish, beyond this Encyclopedia entry. And then I realized something: The Jewish Encyclopedia is the unedited, full-text on-line copy of an Encylopedia that was published in 1906. This means that back then, much closer to the event, people were asserting that Drumont was Jewish—so much so that they felt it was important to deny it in his bio. Interesting. Now, why would people assert such a thing?
Well, it might have something to do with the fact, mentioned also in the Encyclopedia entry, that before he published a rabidly anti-Semitic book, he worked at a newspaper run by the Pereire brothers, wealthy Jewish financiers who were said to be rivals of the Rothschilds (although the brothers were investors in at least one of the Rothschild’s railroads, suggesting their rivalry may have been exaggerated). In 1875, Drumont gave the eulogy of Jacob Pereire, who he compared (favorably) to Napoleon. In 1880 he gave a eulogy praising Jacob’s brother, Isaac. According to the Encyclopedia entry (and elsewhere), we are to believe that he quit his job at the newspaper in 1886 after (suddenly) realizing newspapers were unduly controlled by Jews. But here’s the thing: even though the book was only published in 1886, Drumont is said to have started working on it in 1880. He started working on it under the encouragement of a Jesuit priest, Father Stanislas Du Lac, whom he met in 1879. Du Lac also bankrolled his newspaper, which was launched on April 20, 1892. This genealogy page says that Du Lac “converted” him to Catholicism. It says the same on the French Wikipedia page for Drumont, and elsewhere. But they don’t say what religion he was being converted from. In some places, like his Romanian wiki page, it says he was “(re-)converted” to Catholicism. It’s a weird way to phrase it, isn’t it? Have you ever heard of anyone being converted to their own religion?
So they would have us believe that Drumont eulogized Isaac Pereire the same year he started working on his anti-Semitic chef-d’oeuvre and a year after he fell under the influence of Du Lac. Right.
A few more words about Du Lac. He was a French nobleman, rector of the École Sainte-Geneviève and Jesuit priest who became a novitiate in the Jesuit order at Issenheim in Alsace. I mention the location because it is only some 20km from Mulhouse, the birthplace of Dreyfus. Quite a coincidence. Recall that in Miles’s paper on Napoleon, he quotes a character from a Disraeli novel saying that the first Jesuits were Jews. And if you search the web, you’ll find many references to Loyola being a Marrano, that is a Jew forced to convert who retains the Jewish faith in secret. That is, a crypto-Jew.
Remember above in the Jewish Encyclopedia entry where it says Drumont studied at the Lycée? But it doesn’t say which one. Well guess what? He went to Lycée Condorcet, the same one that Esterhazy attended with Edmond de Rothschild. According to the Lycee Condorcet’s Wikipedia page, notable alumni include (along with Drumont, born 1844), Jacob (Jacques) de Reinach (b. 1840) and his 3 sons, Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy, as well as a couple of Rothschilds. Since Drumont was born in 1844 and Edmond de Rothschild in 1845, we can assume they overlapped, though they might not have been classmates. On the Lycée Condorcet’s webpage it says (translated from French): “Accepting since the mid-nineteenth century a large number of Protestant and Jewish students, the school has played a prominent role in the emergence of “Franco-Judaism,” [and] in the creation of the Dreyfus network.
Most sources claim that he dropped out at age 17 when he “lost his father” as Wikipedia puts it. That would have been in 1861. His father did not die in 1861, but was put in the mental hospital at Charenton for ‘melancholic depression,’ or so we are told. Drumont is said to have been forced to fend for himself at that point. He became homeless, slept in shelters and hung out in the slums. None of this stopped him from great achievements, obviously, and during the 1870s he was hobnobbing with the upper echelons of Parisian literary circles and counted Victor Hugo and Emile Zola as friends, among others. We can assume his story is yet another rags-to-riches myth.
As a final indication that Drumont was Jewish, we have this from page 85 of The Jew Accused:
Perhaps Drumont’ s most surprising admirer was Theodore Herzl, who was in Paris in the early 1890s as foreign correspondent for the Neue Freie Presse of Vienna. He wrote in his diary: “I owe Drumont much for my present freedom of conception, because he is an artist. ” The admiration was mutual: When Herzl’s Judenstaat (“Jewish State,” his description of a future national state for Jews) appeared in 1896, it received what Herzl himself described as a “highly flattering” review in a paper edited by Drumont. Herzl had earlier been a regular visitor to the literary salon of Alphonse Daudet, another Jew-baiting intellectual – one who accepted Herzl as a charming, “exceptional” Jew, as was Marcel Proust – and had met Drumont there.
Yes, Theodore Herzl admired the Pope of Anti-Semitism. And the feeling was mutual. In what possible world does that make a lick of sense? Not in the one they’re spinning. They will tell you that it is a sign that Drumont was just in it for the money and publicity. But that doesn’t jibe with the story of his conversion and the influence Du Lac had over him. However, it would make sense if Herzl and Drumont were working for the same team. And actually Herzl provides us with a nice segue into talking about:
WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE DREYFUS AFFAIR?
As far as I can tell, the Dreyfus affair had several objectives. Most of them can be read in the Wikipedia entry for the Dreyfus affair, under the consequences of the affair. But whereas historians describe those consequences as unintended and accidental, the fact that the affair was a manufactured hoax indicates that it was manufactured to achieve these goals. So let’s go through them one by one, starting with Herzl. I’ll quote at length from Wikipedia:
“The Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl appeared profoundly moved by the Dreyfus affair, which followed his debut as a correspondent for the Neue Freie Presse of Vienna and was present at the degradation of Dreyfus in 1895. “The Affair…acted as a catalyst in the conversion of Herzl”. Before the wave of antisemitism that accompanied the degradation Herzl was “convinced of the need to resolve the Jewish question”, which became “an obsession for him”. In Der Judenstaat (State of the Jews), he considered that:
[I]f France – bastion of emancipation, progress and universal socialism – [can] get caught up in a maelstrom of antisemitism and let the Parisian crowd chant ‘Kill the Jews!’ Where can they be safe once again – if not in their own country? Assimilation does not solve the problem because the Gentile world will not allow it as the Dreyfus affair has so clearly demonstrated…
“The shock was much stronger having lived his youth in Austria, an antisemitic country, Herzl chose to live in France for the humanist image that it claimed was a shelter from extremist excess. He had originally been a fanatic supporter for assimilation of Jews into European Gentile society. The Dreyfus Affair shook Herzl’s view on the world, and he became completely enveloped in a tiny movement calling for the restoration of a Jewish State within the biblical homeland in Israel. Herzl quickly took charge in leading the movement.
Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a word – which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly – it would be this: At Basel I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. Perhaps in five years, and certainly in fifty, everyone will recognize this.
“On 29 November 1947, a little over fifty years after the First Zionist Congress, the United Nations voted in favor to partition Palestine into a Jewish State. The following year the state of Israel was established. Consequently, the Dreyfus Affair is seen as a turning point in Jewish history and as the beginning of the Zionist Movement in modern times.”
We can see that according to this narrative the Dreyfus affair served as tinder to spark the Zionist movement. In order to do that, you had to fan the flames of anti-Semitism, because otherwise you weren’t going to scare enough Jews into leaving first-world Europe for third-world Palestine. What better way to get the ball rolling than to frame a Jewish officer for treason and whip the crowd into a frenzy with all kinds of anti-Semitic propaganda put out by Drumont’s paper, among others? Of course the Dreyfus affair couldn’t achieve that goal all by itself. But it seems to have been the kick-off of a larger plan that would take another half century to come to fruition. Or in Hannah Arendt’s words: “the main actors of the Dreyfus affair sometimes seem to be staging a huge dress rehearsal for a performance that had to be put off for more than three decades.” Actors staging a dress rehearsal, indeed. What was that I was saying about the truth disguised as metaphor…?
You might be asking yourself, if I’m Jewish, why am I writing this? Doesn’t it bother me? How can I take part in this anti-Semitism? Well, I’m not a very tribal person by nature. In my view, it is just as wrong for me to feel an affiliation with Jews as some kind of undifferentiated bloc or race or religion as it is wrong for others to condemn “the Jews” as some kind of undifferentiated bloc or race or religion. I won’t fall for the artificial Manichean dichotomy that views any and all criticism of Jews as simply anti-Semitism.
In any case, I don’t think that pointing the finger at this Jewish elite is anti-Semitic, because they have no compunction about treating the rest of the Jews horribly. In fact, as far as I’ve seen they don’t give a flying fuck about the rest of them. You could even say this criticism is pro-Semitism, since it’s pointing the blame at the small minority of Jews who have fucked with and screwed over the vast majority of the rest of the Jews (along with everybody else, except the wealthy Gentiles who were willing to play ball and didn’t get double-crossed). The history of the Jews in Europe is one of great and bloody persecution, but even the mainstream histories say that this persecution was usually born out of anger at the money lenders. So even that horrible history (assuming it’s more or less true) is one in which people got angry at the small minority of Jews who were money lenders (probably for good reasons, if more recent history is any guide), but all Jews had to take the fall and pay the price with their tears and their blood. Actually, I assume that this Jewish elite never really paid a price. They just moved on to their next victims.
And let’s not forget what they’ve done in order to corral as much of the Jewish people as they could into the state of Israel, and to get them to continue to willingly sacrifice their sons and daughters in countless wars and conflicts, not to mention the enormous pain and loss of the Palestinians. We mustn’t lose sight of the fact that even in the face of the widespread anti-Semitism of the period (both real and manufactured), most Jews didn’t want to move to Israel, and indeed Herzl’s ideas were (initially) met with a great deal of criticism among Jewish communities in Europe. The Zionists kept trying to get Jews to move to Israel, but they had a hell of a time getting them to emigrate and to stay. And even during and after WWII many didn’t want to move to Palestine, so they had to close off America and other destinations as much as possible. But that still wasn’t enough. They had to get a ton of Middle Eastern and North African Jews to emigrate—and there are actually some documented false flags perpetrated by the Mossad to scare them into moving. The brainwashing of Jews in Israel continues today; it starts early and runs very, very deep.
While we’re on the topic of anti-Semitism, we can talk about another goal of the Dreyfus psyop, perhaps its chief goal: the delegitimization (or ‘blackwashing’) of any and all criticism of the behavior of wealthy Jews as ‘anti-Semitism.’ The way they did this is basically by throwing the legitimate critique in with the religious stuff and the nonsense about drinking Christian baby blood, racial purity, etc. Basically what we saw above with Drumont’s book: just take anything, no matter how hare-brained, and put it together with the legitimate criticism. Then slap the label “anti-Semitism” on all of it—even though the term “Semite” refers to a specific conception of Jews as belonging to a Semitic race, different from Europeans. (Strictly speaking, then, anti-Semitism is really a particular strand of anti-Jewish doctrine based on racial theories.)
Then, accuse and convict Dreyfus as a Jewish spy to fan the flames of anti-Semitism, again lumping all critique together. Then show that in fact Dreyfus was innocent and blame his mistreatment on anti-Semitism among certain quarters in the army and government. This serves a secondary goal of disempowering Catholic and other traditional and Monarchist elements in the military and government who may have blocked the growing power of the Jewish elite, or who were at least considered rivals. (And the whole time you’re making bank selling newspapers and books faster than they can be printed, because you’ve got everybody hooked on following the ins-and-outs of the affair without ever asking if it was even true.) We need only turn to Wikipedia to see that this was one outcome of the affair:
The Affair brought to life the confrontation between the two sides of France. However this opposition served the republican order according to most historians. There was indeed a strengthening of parliamentary democracy and a failure of monarchist and reactionary forces.
And more from The Jew Accused:
“The political situation in France [at that time] might be usefully presented in terms of two large, opposing clusters: one that was republican, secular, left-wing, modernist, and on balance friendly to modern Jews; another that was monarchist, Catholic, right-wing, anti-modernist, and thus not friendly to modern Jews. (p.90)
“In June a new trial was ordered for Dreyfus, and a new parliamentary coalition, behind a “ministry of republican defense,” brought the Dreyfusards to power. The new coalition set out to combat vigorously the reactionary, antirepublican forces in the army and the Church and more generally to move against the antirepublican, anti-Semitic movement that had spread so rapidly since Zola’s manifesto. (p.122)
“The year 1906 also marked an impressive electoral victory for the left. The republican left, finding solidarity in the Dreyfusard movement, proved after all to be much more powerful than the anti-Semitic, antirepublican, Anti-Dreyfusard right. The acceptance by French citizenry of the Republic, an acceptance that had steadily grown in spite of ups and downs, was now more secure than ever. (p.123)”
That these factions and ideologies line up in such a clear dichotomy is no accident. This is part of what is sometimes referred to as the ‘Hegelian Dialectic’ in conspiracy circles. But instead of the typical usage of this term to mean ‘problem, reaction, solution,’ the Hegelian dialectic in this context is more accurately described as a way of framing events and situations in binary, “either/or” terms. They manufacture these events and then push people into one of two mutually exclusive views. If you’re in favor of progress, freedom, enlightenment, modernity, then you can’t possibly have any complaints against any Jews. And if you do, then you must be backward, right-wing, nationalist, etc. This is, by the way, a great way to divide people. We can see this being played out before our very eyes with the whole conflict over the (manufactured) migrant crisis: you’re either a knuckle-dragging, Trump supporting, white supremacist Brexiter, or you’re a compassionate, non-bigoted supporter of human rights and equality. (Or from another perspective, you’re either a clear-eyed patriot or a weak-willed, politically correct libtard willing to let your country go down in flames.) And just as the Dreyfus affair was a manufactured hoax aimed at sharpening and deepening the divide, the manufactured and overblown migrant crisis along with fake reports of rapes and hoaxed terror attacks serves to sharpen and deepen the division between us, while the guys at the top cackle and count their coin.
What’s so infuriating is that they’re so very good at advancing their interests in the name of progress and under the guise of universal interests. After all, Jews in particular stood to gain from the Republic and all the ideals it stood for. First of all, it entailed treating people equally regardless of religion. It also stood for progress, enlightenment and modernity. So to criticize Jewish influence was also to be backward and unenlightened. It also allowed wealthy Jews a more direct pathway into political power and set of justifications for undermining the existing sources of power (the church, the aristocracy). Here I will quote at length excerpts from The Jew Accused:
“From the ruins of the Second Empire, the Third Republic emerged gradually and uncertainly in the early 1870s. Although Jews had little to do with its founding [or maybe they did], it was to prove a favorable environment for Jewish aspirations in the subsequent decades.… The republican form of government was at first not popular with most French people, especially in the countryside, where monarchist sympathies prevailed. But a monarchy was not established because, after years of quarreling, the rival monarchist factions could not overcome their differences. A republic with a conservative constitution was, in the words of one French statesman, finally acceptable as the form of government that divided the French the least. Still, most monarchists continued to consider the republic a temporary expedient, until the monarchy could be reestablished, and the constitution was transparently designed to ease such a transition, when the time came. (p.63)
“The French right, and the “party of order” more generally, being traditionalist, monarchist, and Catholic, was perceived by most French Jews as hostile to their aspirations, although a select few of extremely rich Jews, such as the Rothschilds, continued to move in right-wing circles, as did small numbers of Jewish artists and intellectuals. (p.64)
“To the dismay of the monarchists, the Third Republic, a mere temporary expedient in their minds, slowly began to win popular support. Similarly, republicans gradually displaced the older monarchist and Bonapartist cadres in the civil service and government bureaucracy. This displacement entailed a change in social class as well, from aristocrats to bourgeoisie, and in religion from Catholic to Protestant or nonbeliever – or Jew. In short, a new governing class began to come to power in France. Many monarchists in the French civil service retired to their country estates in disgust or disgruntlement. Some monarchists, however, turned to the one major area of employment by the state that remained open to them, the army – a development of no small importance in the Dreyfus Affair. (p. 64)
“The growing political importance of middle-class Jews in the new republican establishment was a different matter from the older connections that the Rothschilds and other Jewish financiers had established with the kings and emperors in the earlier part of the century. But as the republic grew in popular support in the late 1870s and early 1880s, its enemies professed to see a connection between the long-standing power of the Rothschilds and that of the newly important Jews…mostly nouveaux riches. Those inclined to believe in conspiracies complained with rising bad temper about the “Jewish Syndicate,” a purported clandestine organization that they claimed worked behind the cover of the Alliance Israelite Universelle. Enemies of the Republic were similarly inclined to see rising Jewish power in terms of a growing – and menacing – foreign influence inside France…. Fantasies [?] aside, the Rothschilds had undeniably built up an imposing financial empire in France, Germany, Austria, and Great Britain…. Much of what the Rothschilds accomplished, and the way that they accomplished it, was in truth concealed from public view. They made a near fetish of privacy, secrecy, and keeping their power within the family. But they also eagerly sought out public honors and titles of nobility. The Rothschilds’ purchase of the Hotel Talleyrand, overlooking the Place de la Concorde in Paris, was for some an unbearable symbol of foreign, Jewish money, a Jewish rise to power and bogus respectability, pushing aside the older, genuinely French elites, in the very center of the capital of France. It is also true that the Alliance Israelite Universelle sometimes did operate clandestinely. The fantasy of anti-Semites in France concerning Jewish secretiveness was based on a real secretiveness of some highly placed and influential Jews. What anti-Semites suspected in this regard was not so much a fantasy as a malicious exaggeration [or maybe not].” (pp. 64-5)
“Even the military in France by the 1870s and 1880s enrolled a surprisingly large number of Jewish officers (the figure of three hundred was often mentioned by the early 1890s, of whom ten were generals), whereas in Germany the officer corps was one area where Jews were strictly kept out, as they were in Russia, except as medical officers. Indeed, in spite of the reputation of the French army as a haven for right-wing nationalists and monarchists, the Jewish percentage among regular officers was consistently at around 3 percent, from the 1860s to the eve of World War I. With Jews constituting between 0.1 and 0.2 percent of the total population in those years, that meant an overrepresentation of between thirty and sixty times. (p. 60) [BTW Dreyfus was not the first Jew to serve on the General Staff: Colonel Abraham Samuel served on the intelligence branch of the General Staff throughout the 1870s, retiring honorably in 1880.]
“From 1879 to 1886 a highly controversial body of legislation, known as the Ferry Laws, was introduced. The laws sought to establish secular control over primary education and to expand the scope of that education, consistent with liberal-secularist goals throughout Europe. In removing primary education from the control of Catholic Church, the Ferry Laws were designed to modernize the countryside, “liberating” the minds of the peasants, so to speak, by providing them with a secular-republican education, again in conformity with liberal-democratic principles throughout the continent. (p.66)
“Although the agitation over these laws did not quite assume the dimensions of Bismarck’s more famous Kulturkampf, which so divided Germans a few years earlier, the issues and political forces involved were broadly similar. One such similarity was that French Jews, like German Jews, were among the most ardent and articulate supporters of the notion of removing public education from the control of the Catholic Church. (p.67)
“French Catholics, believing that France, long a Catholic nation, should remain one, naturally began to feel besieged under the Third Republic. It was, they believed, increasingly dominated by atheists, secularists, Protestants, and Jews, all of whom had set out to de-Christianize France. There were elements of exaggeration and overdramatization in that belief but, again, it cannot really be termed a fantasy. Many of the leaders of the Third Republic had explicitly set out to combat the Catholic Church, which they considered a dangerous, unyielding, and conniving enemy, one that poisoned the minds of the country’s youth. These were real struggles, involving real issues that had quite concrete implications in the real world – jobs, political power, popular support. (p. 68)
“More disputable, although also corresponding to reality in a number of notorious cases, was the belief of traditional Catholics that the Republic’s leaders were in the pay of Jews. A related belief was that the Jews were illicitly gaining high political office, buying positions of power in the state and military…. It was further rumored that…in 1882 “the prefectures of 47 out of 80 departments were in the hands of Jews.” Fifteen years later the Union Nationale, a Catholic organization in France, claimed that there were 49 Jewish-controlled prefects and subprefects, and 19 Jews in the Conseil d’etat. [Below we’ll see why that year was important.] These figures are all highly doubtful [ed: or maybe not] and may be seen as examples of how facts and figures were manipulated to suit partisan purposes. Yet there is little doubt that Jews, who represented around one-tenth of 1 percent of the total population, were strongly overrepresented in these areas. And in a state as centralized as that of France such positions in the high administration no doubt represented considerable influence. It is also beyond question that Catholics had good reason to feel pushed aside by a new political class, within which were many Jews. (pp.68-69)
“As was the case in Germany and Austria in the 1870s, the financial scandals of the 1880s in France undeniably involved Jewish culprits, many of whom were of German, Austrian, or Polish background. One of the most famous and influential of the scandals involved the Union Générale, a bank that Catholic financiers had established with the explicit goal of allowing Catholic investors to avoid the Jewish and Protestant institutions that so dominated finance in France. After a promising beginning, the new enterprise collapsed in 1882, ruining many small Catholic investors. (p. 70)
“It was widely believed that the Union Générale had been done in by the Rothschilds, with whom it was for a time in fierce competition. Mass circulation newspapers exploited the issue, and, not surprisingly, the directors of the bank were quick to blame the Jews in order to cover up their own mismanagement. Few doubted that the Rothschilds, as others in high finance, could be ruthless when necessary. (p. 70)
“It is no doubt true that many in France were inclined to blame Jews for problems concerning which Jews had no responsibility, to make scapegoats of Jews, and thus to ignore the extent to which those problems had broader and deeper roots. Nevertheless, that such foreign observers, including Jews like Wolf, also blamed them points to problems that were more than mere fantasies of anti-Semites. That the great majority of law-abiding Jews in France, who had nothing to do with high finance or political scandals, were drawn into a net of suspicion underlines the perplexities and predicaments they faced in this land of liberty, equality, and fraternity. (p. 71)”
Ah yes, liberty, equality, fraternity. How could anybody be against that? Didn’t I say they’re good at advancing their own interests under the guise of universal interests and progress? Take the rule of law as an example. In theory the rule of law is great. It’s supposed to stop Monarchs from being tyrants, because everyone is supposed to be equal under the law. Who could argue with that? But the rule of law has been completely warped in favor of the people who write the laws, the people who enforce the laws, the people who interpret the laws, the people who decide when the law does or doesn’t apply, and the people who can afford the best lawyers. I’m not against equality or fraternity or secularism, or any of that. It’s having those ideals advanced on bogus terms to serve the interests of a select few that I object to. And the answer isn’t to take the other side in the binary choices they’ve provided for us, but to rescue those principles from those who have hijacked them.
THE UNION GÉNÉRALE AND THE PARIS STOCK MARKET CRASH OF 1882
OK, I’m starting to wind down here. Just a few more things I want to get out of the way. Let’s revisit the financial scandal involving the Union Générale that Lindemann mentioned.
“The Union Générale was a bank in France, founded by Paul Eugène Bontoux, as an explicit attempt to create a Catholic and monarchist counterweight to Jewish-domination of finance in the country (specifically the Rothschild, Hottinguer and Neuflize families). The founder of the bank was allied to the legitimist pretender to the throne Henry V of France. Based in Lyon, the project existed only for a few years, being founded in 1878, before being destroyed by the Rothschilds and other Jewish financiers in 1882. The destruction of the bank was the cause of much resentment patriotic Frenchmen held towards the Jews in the years following.”
Why would patriotic Frenchmen, beyond those who lost their investments, have so much resentment? Because the collapse of the Union Générale (UG) caused the Paris stock market to crash and bankrupted the Lyon stock market, precipitating a decade-long recession (sound familiar?). A small group of large financial concerns led by the Rothschilds organized a rescue of the Parisian stock exchange by mounting a special fund. The total loan amount (at 5% interest) was 99 million Francs, 29 million of which came from the Rothschild bank. The net debt of the Lyon brokers was 63.7 million francs; when combined with the other debts, the sum totaled 191 million. In the absence of any aid, the Lyon exchange was liquidated. Many brokers, both in Paris and Lyon, went bankrupt as well (Lehmann brothers, anybody?). The UG and its affiliated enterprises are estimated to have raised a billion francs. The crash overall wiped out 4 billion francs of wealth, much (but not all) of it from the Catholic and Monarchist investors in the UG and Lyon stock exchange.
These numbers might not sound like a lot of money, but at the time these were enormous sums. At an exchange rate of 1 franc to about $5.40 in 1875, we can calculate that the Lyon brokers lost something on the order of 21 billion in current dollars. The 99 million frank loan was something like 12 billion dollars today. And the 4 billion francs wiped out? Nearly half a trillion dollars.
Now, the conspiracy story we’re sold about Union Générale (UG) is basically that the Rothschilds used a ‘pump and dump’ scheme to ruin the bank. That’s where you artificially inflate the price of the stock and then sell your shares. If you have enough market power, you can collapse the company. While I don’t doubt that was part of the scheme, I believe it actually goes much deeper. In fact, we have a good indication that we’re being corralled into a limited hangout by the fact that Emile Zola wrote a novel, L’Argent, that was a thinly veiled story about the Rothschilds ruining the UG. In that novel, the people who started the UG (or in the novel, the Banque Universelle) were committed anti-Semites and idealist, pro-clergy Christians. The actual founder of UG was Paul Eugène Bontoux. Who was he? Well, from 1860 to 1877 he worked for the Austro-Hungarian railroad company, the Chemins Lombards, which was controlled by James de Rothschild. The other major investors in that railway were none other than the Pereire brothers, who Drumont worked for and lovingly eulogized. Actually Bontoux didn’t just work for the railway, he managed it. So you could say he was a senior executive for 17 years in a company owned by Jewish bankers.
Am I the only one who smells a rat? Doesn’t anybody else think it’s strange that he would quit and then turn around and start working against his former employers? In fact, that would make him the second guy we’ve seen so far who suddenly quit working for wealthy Jewish bankers only to turn around and spite them. We’re told he was a committed Catholic who counted among his supporters and friends the Pope, several cardinals and the legitimate pretender to the throne, the Count of Chambord, grandson of King Charles X. So what happened? Did Bontoux just suddenly wake up one day and decide he was fed up working for some wealthy Jews? I can just picture him storming into James de Rothschild’s office and shouting, “Fuck you…and your eyebrows!” Or wait, let me guess: he met a monk on the Matterhorn who (re-)converted him to Catholicism. And yet it doesn’t seem to raise an eyebrow beyond the observation by Jean Bouvier that “it is probable that the Vienna Rothschilds took umbrage at the multiple activities of their former clerk.” Or, maybe they were really pleased with the work he did for them to bankrupt Catholic and Monarchist sympathizers? In other words, it was no accident that this guy went around trying to set up a rival bank by getting investors from these quarters of French society. This paper by an economist at Rutgers argues, in fact, that the UG was not brought down by pump-and-dump but by mismanagement. But he never considers the possibility that the mismanagement was intentional, that Bontoux never actually stopped working for the Rothschilds, only his job description changed. Put that scenario in the back of your head as you read his narrative:
Union Générale began its operations in 1878, just as the long depression of the mid-1870s was ending. [ed: And just after he left his job at the railroad.] …. With his railway experience and deep knowledge of the political economy of Austrian and Hungarian railways, Bontoux left Südbahn to seek his fortune in the promotion of new securities. Bontoux organized a new financial network for the AustroHungarian Empire to channel French capital to Central Europe, aiming to challenge the position of the Rothschild-Creditanstalt group in Vienna. His plans also had a very strong political agenda. The early years of the Third Republic were a time of considerable frustration for French conservatives, especially legitimist nobility and clergy. Bontoux used Ultramontane and anti-Rothschild rhetoric to induce conservative Catholic investors to buy shares and deposit their savings in his banks. They hoped for profit and power to counterbalance the liberal democracy now established in Paris. Working in Lyon, a conservative stronghold, Bontoux appealed to these disaffected groups. The newspaper Cote Lyonnaise (January 24, 1882) described Bontoux as attempting to establish a Catholic financial institution to rival the “numerous banks of Jewish origin.” He was active in politics and considered himself to be a “personal friend” of the Henri, Comte de Chambord, the legitimist pretender. When prominent banks, notably Crédit Lyonnais, were cool to his proposals, he found private investors in Lyon willing to support railroad, mining, and banking schemes. Over half of the two thousand subscribers to Union Générale’s capital of 25 million francs came from the region around Lyon and included many legitimist nobility and clergy, although there were also entrepreneurs, professionals, and even skilled workers. (pp. 9-10)
The stock market boom swept the French market, but nowhere was it more intense than in Lyon, thanks in part to the promotional activities of Bontoux. The general rise in the market can be seen in stock market index for the Paris market in Figure 3 (Arbulu, 1998). At the end of December 1879, the market index, which stood at 156, began its ascent. By the end of the next year, it had reached 184, and peaked in December 1881 at 222, a height it would not see again until July 1896, fifteen years later. Among the leading speculative issues was, of course, Union Générale, climbing from 500 francs a share in 1879 to over 3000 at its apogee. (p. 12)
[He goes on to describe a stock market bubble and how it started to burst.]
In this gathering storm, the price of Union Générale on the Paris bourse began to collapse. Although its condition only became clear later, it was compromised by serious financial irregularities. The bank had not succeeded in selling all its capital and gave fictitious subscriptions to bolster demand for its successive capital increases. In the final issue of 50 million francs in 1881, the bank held back 31,389 shares out of 100,000, representing 26.6 million francs. Thus, Union Générale did not have the capital that it reported, and was trading heavily in its own stock. Furthermore, the bank appears to have falsified its quarterly report of September 1881, showing a fictitious profit of 34 million. On January 5, the first cash price of a share was 3040 francs, with the forward price hovering between 3020 and 3060 for the upcoming settlement. The cumulative bad news brought both prices down to 2800 by January 14. When, on January 18, the Banque de Lyon was hit by a run and closed its doors, cash and forward prices of Union Générale, which had drifted down to 2390 and 2400 francs by the 18th, collapsed to 1400 and 1300 the next day. Bontoux desperately tried to bolster the price of the stock. He managed to obtain five loans, totaling 18.1 million francs on January 19 from a consortium of banks. But when these funds were exhausted on January 28, the consortium refused to any increase, Bontoux was forced to close the bank on January 30. (p. 14)
In February 1882, Union Générale went into bankruptcy, then in March 1883, the Cour d’Appel de Paris condemned Bontoux to five years in prison for fraud. While on appeal, Bontoux fled France. Bontoux claimed that the Jewish and Freemason (Protestant) bankers wanted to see him fail. His defenders claimed that he was a victim of a “syndicat à la baisse” a bear pool run by the Jewish bankers, Crédit Lyonnais, and the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas. The press on the right took up Bontoux’s claim that Jewish finance and freemasons in the government had conspired to bring down Union Générale.
You can see that the misdirection surrounding this scandal started immediately. It was apparently effective, because it seems nobody has ever considered that the whole thing was a con job from the very beginning. Yes, the Rothschilds were involved, but not in the way people think. In light of what you just read, you can also see why the Lyon stock market was left to crash and burn. As the author of that paper remarks: “This hesitancy reflected the center-left government, which showed little interest in assisting the conservatives of Lyon.” Surprise, surprise.
THE PANAMA SCANDAL
As if fleecing the clergy and aristocracy of half a trillion francs and sending the economy into a decade-long recession wasn’t chutzpah enough, another financial scandal rocked the country ten years later in what has been called the Panama Affair. The broad outlines of the affair are as follows: in 1881, the guy credited with designing and building the Suez Canal, Ferdinand de Lesseps, created a company backed by investment banks to build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama, which he said could be completed in 6 to 8 years for 600 million francs. The promotional hype and propaganda around the venture lured many small investors to buy a stake. A few years later, the company admitted realized that it would cost double that and take much longer. More cost overruns, loans, delays and stock issuances ensued, leading the company to declare bankruptcy in 1889.
The French government pushed the completion of the liquidation further and further away, because the take-over offers of the various American companies seemed too small. An intermediate company was unable to be founded since the necessary capital failed… In 1894 the liquidator managed to form a New Panama Canal Company. The capital was raised through drawing those who had become rich from the old company into financing the new company and thus dropping the legal process against them. The liquidator from the old Canal Company handed over the building concession, the canal stretch and the Panama Railroad, the machinery and the buildings to the New Panama Canal Company. In April 1904, the sale of the canal to the United States of America, including all the installations and rights, was completed by the New Panama Canal Company for $40 million. The bondholders of the old canal company received as damages, after 1904, 11% of the proceeds; the shareholders and owners of founder shares went empty handed.
According to Wikipedia, “Some 800,000 French people, including 15,000 single women, had lost their investments in the stocks, bonds and founder shares of the Panama Canal Company, to the considerable sum of approximately 1.8 billion gold Francs. From the nine stock issues, the Panama Canal Company received 1.2 billion gold Francs, 960 million of which were invested in Panama, a large amount having been pocketed by financiers and politicians.”
Yes, an unspecified but “large amount” of the investors’ money had just been pocketed, having never been spent on the construction. If you’ve ever seen the movie, The Producers, this is basically the same scam they attempted: convince a bunch of gullible old ladies to invest in your production, spend only a little bit on the actual thing and make sure it fails, and then when it tanks you make off with the unspent cash.
But that wasn’t even the scandalous part!! The scandal was that, in 1892, over 500 government ministers and members of parliament were accused by French nationalists of having taken bribes to permit the issue of stock and hiding the company’s financial troubles from the public.
So how is this related to Jews and anti-Semitism? Well, we can assume that the financiers who made off with all the loot were most likely Jewish. But nothing I could find actually hinted at who they were. Lesseps was clearly their patsy. Whether Lesseps was Jewish I could not discover. But two Jews did take the blame for acting as middlemen by handing out bribes from Lesseps: Cornelius Herz and Baron Jacob-Adolphe (aka Jacques) Reinach. Baron Reinach was also the financial adviser to the Panama Canal company. He allegedly committed suicide the day before he was to appear in court. (His death was probably faked and he just escaped with his riches, as we’ve seen in so many of Miles’s papers). Wikipedia tells us that:
before his death Reinach gave a list of the suborned members of Parliament to the Libre Parole, Edouard Drumont‘s antisemitic daily, in exchange for the paper covering up Reinach’s own role. Overnight, the story transformed La Libre Parole from an obscure sheet into one of the most influential papers in the country. The list of culprits was published morning by morning in small installments, so that hundreds of politicians had to live on tenterhooks for months. The scandal showed, in Arendt’s view, that the middlemen between the business sector and the state were almost exclusively Jews, thus helping to pave the road for the Dreyfus Affair.
I’m not entirely sure how to unspin this. At first blush, we wouldn’t expect to see Drumont releasing damaging information about the people he was working for. But then again, we wouldn’t expect Baron Reinach, a Jew, to be making deals and handing this information over to Drumont in the first place. And frankly the cover story doesn’t make much sense, since he had already been indicted—it’s not as if Drumont could somehow hide that. It seems to me that the dirty dealing had been outed by their rivals (French nationalists) and this was all damage control. They tried to keep the heat on the politicians and off of the financiers. Lesseps took the fall with Reinach and Herz bearing part of the blame as well. Beyond that the blame was spread out over a bunch of politicians, only a hundred or so of whom were ever found to be involved. So yeah, basically damage control. And leaking the information through Drumont enabled them to control the disclosure. It was also great publicity for him and his newspaper. It really put him on the map.
Baron Reinach’s son-in-law was Joseph Reinach who “is best known as the champion of Alfred Dreyfus. At the time of the original trial, he attempted to secure a public hearing of the case, and, in 1897, he allied himself with Auguste Scheurer-Kestner to demand its revision.” He also wrote the first official history of the affair taking up seven volumes published from 1901-1911. Apparently he had a lot of time on his hands.
Here’s another gem from his Wikipedia bio: “he was indirectly implicated in the Panama scandals through his father-in-law; as soon as he learned that he was benefiting by fraud, he made appropriate restitution.” Yes, I’m sure he had no idea he had been benefitting from fraud. And saying that he was implicated through his father-in-law is a beautiful specimen of misdirection, as it implies that he was implicated only through his wife’s father. But his wife was Henriette Clementine, daughter of Jacob Adolphe Baron de Reinach. What are the chances that his wife would have the same family name as him? Well, if you’re like Joseph and marry your uncle’s daughter (your 1st cousin), I’d say the odds are good, though in this case the goods are definitely odd. Wikipedia could have said instead that Joseph was implicated in the scandal through his uncle. It’s actually a bit worse than that: Joseph’s dad and Henriette’s dad were twin brothers, both bankers. Now that’s what I call keeping it in the family. And while we’re on the subject of keeping it in the family, Joseph’s daughter married Alfred Dreyfus’s nephew, the son of his older brother, Mathieu, who fought tirelessly for Alfred’s release. So only a little bit of sweeping away the cobwebs has shown us direct family links between Dreyfus and another wealthy Jewish family who played a major role in the hoax.
So you can see that these wealthy Jewish financiers had a major and pressing PR problem on the heels of the Union Générale and Panama scandals. The Dreyfus affair was not only a way to draw people’s attention away from them, it was a way to discredit legitimate criticism of the role that Jewish bankers had played in them. Today if you start talking smack about ‘The Rothschild dynasty,’ people will look at you sideways and likely accuse you of anti-Semitism (or worse: being a conspiracy theorist). In Tom Segev’s history of Mandate era Palestine, One Palestine, Complete, he talks about correspondence between members of the highest level of the British government discussing something to the effect of how Britain ought to support the vision of a Jewish state in Palestine in order to curry favor with the world’s powerful Jews. Segev dismisses them as trading in anti-Semitic canards. In fact, when I first read that, I did too. But no longer.
THE WANDERING STATUE
Wrapping this up, I’d like to bring your attention to another minor scandal from 1985 when Louis Mitelberg, a Polish Jew, was commissioned to create a statue of Dreyfus for the courtyard of the École Militaire, where Dreyfus had been degraded. (They really milk these hoaxed events, don’t they?) The École did not want the statue, and it was rejected by another half dozen sites. Finally, in 1988 it was installed in an out of the way corner of the Tuileries garden. But people complained, and it was eventually installed in the sleepy Square Pierre Lafue. Many have argued that the statue was rejected due to lingering anti-Semitism. I would argue it was rejected because it’s so ugly:
Would you want to have to look at that statue on a daily basis? Which brings us back to the article by Adam Gopnik I quoted at the beginning. He makes another astonishing statement there: “One of the smaller ironies of the affair is that it involves the collision of two subcultures, ambiguous Jewish identity and the obliquities of gay ‘coding,’ that did so much to make the modernist sensibility.” Really? I did not realize it has been widely recognized that Jewishness and homosexuality were so influential to the modernist sensibility. Though seen through the lens of Miles’s papers on the genesis and control of modern art, I’d say Gopnik (who is both Jewish and gay) is on the mark—though (maybe) not in the way he intended. I guess this sculpture is also a nod to the modernist sensibility. They’ll probably tell me it’s supposed to be a towering representation of the Dreyfus Affair. And they’re right, if by that they mean it’s a representation of a towering pile of bullshit. Because that’s what it looks like.
VIDEOS IN FRENCH ON MILES MATHIS:
De JFK à Hitler: un monde d’illusions:
La montée officielle d’Hitler au pouvoir n’a aucun sens:
Sites francophones qui ont traduit de l’anglais au français les articles de Miles Mathis:
Quelques articles importantes:
Napoléon était-il juif?
La Revolution Francaise:
L’arrivée au pouvoir d’Hitler et les débuts du nazisme :
Les Croisades et Templiers:
Marx, cet agent au service du pouvoir:
Des Bombes Atomiques:
Le Bombardement de Dresden:
Elvis Aron Presley:
La mort de Marilyn Monroe a été simulée:
L’article concernant Charles Lindbergh: