V. I.   Lenin

A New Dreyfus Case?

Published: First published in Listok “Pravdy”, July 19 (6), 1917. Published according to the text in Listok “Pravdy”.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 25, page 166.
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   2002 You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work, as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.README

Are some of the “leaders” of our General Staff planning to re-enact the Dreyfus case[1]?

This idea is suggested by the outrageously insolent and monstrous slander published in Zhivoye Slovo and analysed by us in detail elsewhere.

In the Dreyfus case, the French General Staff made it self sadly and disgracefully famous throughout the world by resorting to wrong, unfair and downright criminal (base) measures to indict Dreyfus.

Our General Staff showed their hand in a “case” against the Bolsheviks, doing it publicly for the first time, I think, through—this is strange and significant and incredible—Zhivoye Slovo, a Black Hundred rag, which printed an obvious slander about Lenin being a spy. The report begins as follows:

The Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command sent the record of interrogation [of Yermolenko] to the War Minister, with his letter No. 3719 of May 16, 1917.”

Is it conceivable—if the case is handled properly at all—that records of interrogation belonging to the General Staff should be published in the Black Hundred press before investigation is instituted and before the suspects are arrested?

The General Staff is in charge of intelligence. This is beyond question. But how can an intelligence service function if a document dispatched on May 16 and received by Kerensky long ago is put in circulation by a Black Hundred rag instead of Kerensky?

In what way does this differ, in point of fact, from the methods used in the Dreyfus case?


[1] Dreyfus case—the trial of the Jew Dreyfus, a French General Staff officer, whom the reactionary monarchists among the French military, bent on provocation, falsely charged in 1894 with espionage and high treason. The French reactionaries took advantage of the framed-up indictment of Dreyfus, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, to foment anti-Semitism and attack the republican regime and democratic liberties. When, in 1898, the socialists and progressive spokesmen of bourgeois democracy, including Emile   Zola, Jean Jaurès and Anatole Franco, started a campaign for a re-examination of the Dreyfus case, the latter assumed a markedly political character. The country split into two camps over it, with the republicans and democrats on one side and the bloc of monarchists, clericals, anti-Semites and nationalists on the other. In 1899, under pressure from public opinion, Dreyfus was pardoned and released. In 1906, he was acquitted by the Court of Cassation and was reinstated in the Army.

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