Mathieu Dreyfus , born with Mulhouse in 1857 and died in 1930, was an Alsatian industrialist , older brother of Alfred Dreyfus of which it will be the most faithful support at the time of the Affaire Dreyfus.
An Alsatian childhoodBorn two years before Alfred, it follows to Alsace a schooling abused by the Franco-German Guerre of 1870. When France loses Alsace at the time of the Traité of Frankfurt, in 1871, his/her father, director of a spinning mill of Coton, chooses the French Nationalité for him and its minors, and settles with Paris with its family.
Mathieu continues his studies in Paris with the Collège Holy-Bores, then with the Lycée Chaptal. At 18 years, it engages in the 9th regiment of Hussards of Belfort. But, unlike Alfred, it is not made for the military career.
With his other brothers Jacques and Leon, it continues the family tradition and works with the cotton company of Mulhouse. In 1885, he becomes the director about it. It Marie in May 1889 with Suzanne Marguerite Schwob, girl of a manufacturer of textiles of Héricourt not far from Belfort. They will have two children, a girl, Magui (which will marry Adolphe, the son of Joseph Reinach), and a boy, Emile, who will die in 1915 during the Great War.
The first Supporter of DreyfusIn October 1894, whereas it is in Mulhouse, Mathieu receives a telegraph of his/her sister-in-law Lucie, the wife of Alfred, requiring of him to join Paris as soon as possible. Arrived on November 1st, Mathieu learns that his/her brother is stopped for Trahison. For him, there is no doubt: this business is a Miscarriage of justice which will quickly be cleared up.
It then obtains an appointment with the commander of Paty de Clam, which carried out the arrest of his/her brother. This one indicates to him that the loads are overpowering and that, moreover, the Dreyfus captain is on the way of the consents. Convinced of the innocence of his brother, Mathieu proposes with of Paty a market: “Near my brother You Let penetrate to me will attend behind a curtain our maintenance. If, by impossible, it made an error, it will say to me very with me, and myself I will put the gun in the hands to him. ” Of Paty refuses.
Mathieu then seeks a lawyer who will be able to defend his brother. It will be Demange Master. The December 13rd 1894, at a few days of the appearance of Alfred Dreyfus in the Council of war, Mathieu succeeds in meeting colonel Jean Sandherr, chief of the service of the information, and Mulhousian like him, which is cut off behind the military secrecy. He contacts then the journalist and deputy Joseph Reinach, convinced him also of the innoncence of Dreyfus. Reinach requires of the president of the Republic, Casimir-Périer, that the Procès not be held with Door-close. Waste of time and effort.
Mathieu considers all the tracks to obtain from the assistance. Disabled, he will address himself even to the Voyante Norman Léonie which “will reveal to him” the existence of the “secret file” used against Dreyfus in violation of the procedure rules. He is agitated, sought the support of all his contacts and sees himself threatened of arrest for complicity. Of Paty de Clam suspects it one moment to have written itself the form. On its side, Alphonse Bertillon, convened to appraise the incriminating evidence, estimates that the Dreyfus captain imitated the writing of his Mathieu brother to mask his. He includes/understands whereas he must conduct a true campaign and continue a daily action to make all the truth on this business. He will be the “admirable brother” for Joseph Reinach, the “noble Mathieu” for Georges Clémenceau and the “heroic brother” for Emile Zola.
The combat for the truth
See also: Chronology of the business Dreyfus
In February 1895, whereas his/her brother has just been off-set, Mathieu meets the anarchistic journalist Bernard Lazare, which has just published the Anti-semitism, its history and its causes. During the summer 1895, Mathieu provides him all the required documents to write the first file devoted to the business, which Zola to write I will take as a starting point show . Very polemic, this file is altered and finally published in November 1896 under the title a miscarriage of justice. The truth on the business Dreyfus . Lazare there dismounts the charge point by point and asks for the Révision lawsuit. But the file does not succeed in mobilizing the personalities to which he was addressed.
In 1896, Mathieu tries to regain the interest of the public while launching a rumor via the Journal English The Daily Chronicle : his/her brother is escaped bagne of the Devil's Island. Information is taken again without any checking by the French press. She will quickly be contradicted, but will result in to worsen the detention conditions of Alfred, who from now on is attached the night and is consigned in his box, which will be surrounded by a 2,50 height m palisade.
Accidentally informed of the existence of a secret file, Mathieu and Lucie Dreyfus, with the assistance of Lazare, then deposit a petition at the Parliament asking the revision of the lawsuit. It is rejected “fault of evidence”. Only the vice-president of the Senate Auguste Scheurer-Kestner, Alsatian him also, will decide for a new examination of the business. During all the year 1897, Mathieu Dreyfus orders graphological expertises , in France and abroad, which establish that the form was not written by Alfred Dreyfus.
At the beginning of November 1897, it obtains finally the confirmation that the commander Estherházy is well the author of the form allotted to his brother: the Castro banker indeed recognizes the writing of the soldier, who is his debtor, on the reproduction of the form which Mathieu exposes on a Parisian boulevard. This one speaks about it immediately in Scheurer-Kestner, which had already learned the news by other sources. November 15th, it carries felt sorry for near the ministry for the War against Estherházy. The scandal bursts at the great day. The army is forced to open an investigation.
But at the time of the appearance of Estherházy, the January 10th 1898, the president of the Council of war refuses to question Mathieu and Lucie Dreyfus. Supported by Bernard Lazare, Joseph Reinach and Auguste Scheurer-Kestner, Mathieu baits itself to convince of the writers, the scientists and the politician who his brother is victim of an appalling miscarriage of justice. The Dreyfus business takes forms of business of State. The “Intellectuel S” then take the defense of the captain shown wrongly.
After the lawsuit of Rennes, the September 9th 1899, Alfred Dreyfus is condemned to ten years of detention with the extenuating circumstances. The president of the Council Waldeck-Rousseau proposes of grâcier the captain. Mathieu persuades his brother to accept. Seven years later, in 1906, Alfred Dreyfus are finally rehabilitated. A meal of festival joins together the family, Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris, to celebrate the event.
Mathieu goes back to Mulhouse. In 1914, the family company of cotton is seized by the German authorities . Mathieu must be satisfied to direct the branch of Belfort. He will recover the factory of Mulhouse only in 1919 and will resell it the following year with Marcel Boussac. The branch of Belfort, it, will be sold with the family Schwob d' Héricourt. Mathieu dies in 1930, five years before his Alfred brother.
- Alfred Dreyfus
- the Business Dreyfus, film of Yves Boisset: the character of Mathieu is interpreted by Philippe Volter
- Bernard Lazare
- Joseph Reinach
- the Business such as I it lived , Paris, Bernard Grasset, 1978; rééd. 1998.
- Supporters of Dreyfus! memories of Mathieu Dreyfus and other news, published and presented by Robert Gauthier, Paris, 1965; rééd. Gallimard, 1978; Gallimard, " Folio histoire" , 2006.
'' the Business such as I lived it '' electronic edition of the BNF
- " Mathieu Dreyfus mobilize" , on the Net surfer/History
- " Mathieu DREYFUS 1857-1930" , on Judaïsme.sdv
- Socitété International of History of the Business Dreyfus
- Documents Mathieu Dreyfus, Funds Business Dreyfus
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