By Frederick Brown
In the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian warfare of 1870–71, a defeated and humiliated France cut up into cultural factions that ranged from those that embraced modernity to those that championed the recovery of throne and altar. This polarization—to which such iconic monuments because the Sacre-Coeur and the Eiffel Tower endure witness—intensified with a succession of grave occasions over the subsequent a long time: the crash of an funding financial institution based to increase Catholic pursuits; the failure of the Panama Canal corporation; the fraudulent cost of treason introduced opposed to a Jewish officer, Alfred Dreyfus, which led to a civil conflict among his zealous supporters and fanatical antagonists.
In this tremendous reconsideration of what fostered the increase of fascism and anti-Semitism in twentieth-century Europe, Frederick Brown chronicles the serious fight for the soul of a state, and indicates how France’s deep fractures ended in its quit to Hitler’s armies in 1940.
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Extra info for For the Soul of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus
It gave remarkably particular information regarding a villa Mathieu had equipped at the outskirts, calling awareness to at least one characteristic, a turret, from which, the officer declared, Dreyfus may perhaps transmit army details to the enemy with easy optical tools. The turret therefore turned the focal point of an identical paranoid fantasies that shrouded the Eiffel Tower. los angeles Croix additionally released the letter. * They have been a refrain of the Paris bar and legislation university college, whose individuals have been primarily anti-Dreyfusard, in keeping with one shut research. * Zola’s father, a Venetian, had immigrated to France in 1830, ten years prior to Émile Zola’s start. * The position of traitor used to be a God-given one within the divine scheme of items. “The Jew was once created by way of God to function a secret agent anyplace treason is afoot,” declared Civiltà cattolica in the course of Zola’s trial. † A kindred spirit, and probably a relative of the archbishop, Rear Admiral Mathieu, who ran for workplace within the legislative elections of could 1898, declared in the course of his candidacy, “Citizens, those are tricky occasions. The motto needs to be: France for the genuine Frenchmen and never for these foreigners naturalized the day before today who've no patriotic emotions of their hearts and have become French basically out of self-interest. allow us to hence be actual Frenchmen. Our humans will go back to Christ, who's existence. ” ‡The myth of a definite Abbé Cros, for instance, was once to put his ft each morning and night on a bedside rug made up of the surface of “kikes. ” *L’Univers misplaced a lot of its subscribers within the Eighteen Nineties, whilst it recommended Leo XIII’s coverage of reconciliation with the Republic. They defected to los angeles Libre parole and l. a. Vérité in addition to to los angeles Croix. After the booklet of l. a. France juive, Edmond de Goncourt said the next dinner dialog with Édouard Drumont: “Drumont … informs us that he's giving anti-Semitic lectures [here and there], having been inspired to take action via ecclesiastics who informed him that the Holy Ghost could deliver him the reward of public speech. ” * The Vatican trimmed its sails to the existing wind. presently after Dreyfus’s moment trial, whilst well-founded rumor had it that he will be pardoned if convicted back, the Osservatore romano ran an editorial titled “the Oppressors of the Jews,” invoking the proclamation of a twelfth-century pope, blameless III, that Jews are “the residing witnesses of the real religion” and that Christians weren't accredited to exterminate them. The popes, it went directly to claim, had continuously taken care of Jews with “charity, tolerance, and love. ” 3 days later, it said that the corpse of a Christian boy, his physique tired of blood by way of Jews, were found in a Hungarian village. * The adjective “antisémitique” might later get replaced via “antisémite. ” The time period “anti-Semitism” was once coined in 1879 in Germany via Wilhelm Marr, founding father of the League for Anti-Semitism, and shortly thereafter followed in France. † It was once a yr for leaning on Joan of Arc. In November, on the Hôtel des Sociétés Savantes, a Madame Marthe brought a “philosophical and patriotic lecture” in honor of Joan of Arc.