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Sponsored Content: 'Proust,' By Benjamin Taylor.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Yale University Press and their Jewish Lives series.

Marcel and his friends could not have known what was unfolding at the Statistics Section that spring, summer, and autumn. In March 1896 Mme Bastian"the normal channel"had handed on to Lieutenant Colonel Georges Picquart, new chief of the Section, a second remarkable document retrieved from Schwartzkoppen's trash bin, the so-called petit bleu, an express letter addressed in his hand to Esterhazy but evidently thrown out instead of being sent. Picquart, who would prove heroic and self-sacrificing in the Affair, inferred from this that the traitor must be Esterhazy, not Dreyfus. As proof he obtained a sample of Esterhazy's handwriting and confirmed that it was identicalnot similar but identicalto that of the bordereau. Armed with this certainty, Picquart then reviewed the documents of the dossier secret and saw that there was nothing in them of probative value. This was the turning point. Owing to Picquart the eventual vindication of Alfred Dreyfus became inevitable, despite dogged rear-guard actions by the army to spare itself a judicial review of the 1894 court-martial.

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Author:(Sponsored), Yale University Press
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Date:Nov 13, 2015
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