Dreyfus goes to the Devil

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The Independent Online
A Dreyfus has returned to Devil's Island nearly 100 years after L'Affaire Dreyfus scandalised 19th-century France. Charles Dreyfus, grandson of Alfred, has become the first family member to visit the notorious prison off the coast of French Guiana where the Jewish army captain was held on trumped-up charges of passing military secrets to foreign powers.

"This brings back very bad memories for my family,'' Mr Dreyfus told local television, ``and I hesitated before coming here because it's something that has deeply marked my family. I think that explains why no one from the family wanted to come here until now."

The Dreyfus Affair ignited French anti-Semitism when a military court convicted the officer of espionage. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and shipped to Devil's Island in 1895. He was freed four years later, after the affair unravelled. Devil's Island has been uninhabited since France closed its penal colonies in French Guiana at the end of the Second World War.


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Newspapers did not say when Mr Deng, 90, provided the work for the biography of Marshal Ye Jianying.


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