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Anti-Semitic Dreyfus Affair Game

Jeu des 36 têtes - Les Défenseurs du traître Dreyfus.

Chromolithographed board game on paper published during the time of the Dreyfus Affair, in the style of the Game of the Goose, printed by L'Antijuif, an anti-semitic weekly newspaper and the official organ of the Ligue antisémitique de France, edited by noted anti-Dreyfusard Jules Guérin and drawn by A. Lambot, and published in response to the pro-Dreyfus "Jeu de l'Affaire Dreyfus et de la Vérité" published in L'Aurore, to be played with money and tokens instead of dice and depicting the heads of thirty-six villified Dreyfus supporters, including "the traitor" himself Alfred Dreyfus and German Emperor Wilhelm II. Some browning, minor soiling, old creasing, minor chipping along top edge. Sheet size approximately 61 x 43 cm. Loose as issued. Paris (L'Antijuif) n.d. (12 February 1899).

The Dreyfus Affair was a political scandal that divided the Third French Republic from 1894 until its resolution in 1906, with the pro-Army primarily Catholic "anti-Dreyfusards" on one side and the pro-republican Dreyfusards on the other. It remains today one of the most notable examples of wrongful conviction, with notable influence coming from the press and public opinion. In December 1894, Captain Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly communicating French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris. In 1896, evidence came to light identifying a different French Army officer, Major Ferdinand Walsin Esterházy, as the true culprit. High-ranking officers suppressed the evidence, and Esterházy was acquitted. Dreyfus was instead accused of additional charges based on falsified documents. Word of the cover-up spread, mainly owing to Zola's story in L'Aurore, and activists subsequently put pressure on the government to reopen the case. Finally, in 1906, Dreyfus was exonerated and reinstated as a major in the French Army.
Ephemeral paper toys and items such as this one were distributed to help influence public opinion during the time of the Dreyfus Affair and helped contributed to the social and political divide in France at the time. Likely quite scarce; as of March 2020, WorldCat does not show any individual holdings of this ephemeral game.

Book ID: 50672

Price: $2,250.00