Édouard Drumont

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Édouard Drumont, collage with the antisemitic newspaper he founded, La Libre Parole of 10 September 1899.[1] The headlines read: “The Traitor Convicted, Ten Years of Detention and Degradation, Down with the Jews!”

Édouard Adolphe Drumont (3 May 1844 – 5 February 1917) was a French journalist and writer. He initiated the Antisemitic League of France during 1889, and was the founder and editor of the newspaper La Libre Parole. After spending years of research, he synthesized three major types of antisemitism. The first type was traditional Catholic attitudes toward the alien "Christ killers" augmented by vehement antipathy toward the French Revolution. The second type was hostility to capitalism, of the sort promoted by the Socialists. The third type was scientific racism, based on the argument that races have fixed characteristics, and the Jews have very negative characteristics.[2]

Early life[edit]

Drumont was born in Paris during 1844 to a family of porcelain-painters from Lille. He lost his father at the age of seventeen, and had to care for himself and earn his own livelihood from then onwards.[3]

Public career[edit]

He first worked in government service, and later became a contributor to the press and was the author of a number of works, of which Mon vieux Paris (1879) was awarded by the French Academy.

Drumont's 1886 book, La France juive (Jewish France), attacked the role of Jews in France and argued for their exclusion from society. During 1892, Drumont initiated the newspaper the La Libre Parole which became known for intense antisemitism. This newspaper was skeptical of Léo Taxil's anti-Catholic Diana Vaughan hoax before Taxil admitted it during 1897.

For the national elections of May 1898, the antisemitic activist Max Régis endorsed Drumont in the elections for the national legislature from Algiers.[4] On 8 May 1898 Édouard Drumont was elected triumphantly with 11,557 votes against 2,328 and 1,741 for his opponents.[5] Of six Algerian national deputies, four were elected on the platform of Regis's Anti-Jewish League.[6] Drumont represented Algiers in the Chamber of Deputies from 1898 to 1902. He was sued for accusing a parliamentary deputy of having accepted a bribe from the wealthy Jewish banker Édouard Alphonse de Rothschild to pass a piece of legislation the banker wanted.[citation needed]

Drumont had many devotees.[7] He exploited the Panama Company scandal[8] and reached the maximum of his notoriety during the Dreyfus Affair, in which he was the most strident of Alfred Dreyfus' accusers.[3]

For his anti-Panama articles, Drumont was condemned to three months' imprisonment. During 1893 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the representation of Amiens; the next year he retired to Brussels. The Dreyfus affair helped him to regain popularity, and during 1898 he returned to France and was elected deputy for the first division of Algiers, but was defeated as a candidate for re-election during 1902.[3]

Works[edit]

  • La fin d'un monde (1888)
  • Dernière battaille (1890)
  • Testament d'un antisémite (1891)
  • Secret de fourmies (1892)
  • De l'or, de la boue, du sang – Du Panama á l'anarchie (1896), dealing with the Panama scandals
  • Les Juifs et l'affaire Dreyfus (1899)
  • Vieux portraits, vieux cadres (1900)

La France juive[edit]

La France juive (Jewish France) (1886)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ the day after Alfred Dreyfus had been convicted again on 9 September 1899 in Rennes
  2. ^ Richard S. Levy, Antisemitism: A historical encyclopedia of prejudice and persecution (2005) 1:191
  3. ^ a b c Deutsch, Gotthard, and A.M. Friedenberg. "DRUMONT, EDOUARD ADOLPHE, JewishEncyclopedia.com (accessed 9 November 2007).
  4. ^ Benbassa 2001, p. 145.
  5. ^ Bouveresse 2008, p. 492.
  6. ^ Zack 2005, p. 594.
  7. ^ Drumont's Jewish disciple, 2 June 2008
  8. ^ Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. Harvest Books, 1973; ISBN 0-15-670153-7, pp. 95-99.

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Anderson, Thomas P. "Edouard Drumont and the Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism." Catholic Historical Review (1967): 28-42. in JSTOR
  • Busi, Frederick. The pope of antisemitism: the career and legacy of Edouard-Adolphe Drumont (University Press of America, 1986)
  • Byrnes, R. F. "Edouard Drumont and La France Juive." Jewish Social Studies (1948): 165-184. in JSTOR
  • Isser, Natalie. Antisemitism during the French Second Empire (1991) online

External links[edit]