Time Line

 
 1894​ ​
July: Major Esterhazy, a French officer, offers to sell military secrets to the German Military Attaché in Paris.
September: The bordereau – an unsigned letter offering secret military data – is intercepted by the French Intelligence Office in the waste-basket of the German Military Attaché.
October: Captain Alfred Dreyfus is accused of high treason. He is arrested and sent to the military prison.
​December:
Dreyfus's court-martial trial takes place behind closed doors. The judges receive the ‘dossier secret’. Dreyfus is convicted and sentenced to deportation and imprisonment for life.
 1895​ ​
​January: Public degradation ceremony – Dreyfus is stripped of his ranks in the main courtyard of the École Militaire.
April: Dreyfus arrives on Devil's Island and is placed on solitary confinement.
July: Colonel Georges Picquart is named Head of the Intelligence Office at the Ministry of War.
 1896​ ​
​March: A letter addressed to Major Esterhazy (the "Petit Bleu”) is intercepted by the Intelligence Office at the German Embassy. Colonel Picquart starts to investigate Esterhazy.
​August:
Picquart examines the ‘dossier secret’ and finds no proof of Dreyfus’ guilt. He compares Esterhazy's handwriting to the bordereau and concludes that he is the real traitor.
September-October: Picquart is sent to eastern France and Tunisia due to his repeated attempts to persuade his superiors of Dreyfus’s innocence.​
​Dreyfus is shackled to his bed after a false report of his attempted escape from Devil’s Island.
Lucie Dreyfus petitions the Chamber of Deputies for a revision of Alfred's case.
November: Major Henry forges a letter by the Italian cultural attaché to the German Military Attaché that incriminates Dreyfus.
 1897​ ​
April: Picquart writes a sealed letter to be opened at his death by the President of the Republic.
June: Picquart confides in his lawyer Leblois the truth about Dreyfus innocence and Esterhazy's guilt.
July: Leblois discloses the information to Scheurer-Kestner, vice-president of the Senate.
July-October: Scheurer-Kestner joins the campaign for Dreyfus rehabilitation and tries to persuade fellow politicians.
November: Mathieu Dreyfus denounces Esterhazy as the real author of the bordereau in an open letter to the Minister of War.
 1898​ ​
January: Esterhazy is tried and acquitted by court-martial.
Emile Zola’s "J'Accuse" is published in l'Aurore – an open letter to the President of the Republic.
February-July: Zola is tried for libel, convicted to one year in prison and flees to London.
July-September: Lucie Dreyfus requests to the Minister of Justice to overturn the judgment of 1894.
​September: Esterhazy flees France.
 1899​ ​
​June: The Cour of Cassation annuls the 1894 verdict and orders a retrial. Dreyfus is transferred from Devil's Island to the military prison in Rennes.
August-September: Dreyfus is found guilty at the Rennes court martial. He is sentenced to ten years in prison with mitigating circumstances.
September: A Decree by President Loubet grants pardon to Alfred Dreyfus, who is reunited with his family.
 1903​ ​
​April: The socialist leader Jean Jaures urges the revision of the Rennes verdict. A new investigation is opened.
November: Dreyfus petitions for retrial.
 1906​ ​
​July: The Cour de Cassation annules the Rennes verdict.
Legislation is passed reinstating Dreyfus in the army as major and Picquart as general.
Rehabilitation ceremony at the Ecole Militaire.
Dreyfus is made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
October: George Picquart is made Minister of War.
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