Touro Law Hosting Conference in Paris to Examine the Alfred Dreyfus and Leo Frank Affairs from Various Perspectives

Date: June 27, 2011
Media Contact:

Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
(631) 761-7062

Central Islip, NY – Touro Law Center is hosting a 3-day conference “Persecution Through Prosecution: Alfred Dreyfus, Leo Frank and the Infernal Machine” in Paris, France from July 5 – July 7, 2011. The conference is co-sponsored by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) and SciencesPo and has received the high patronage of Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic. SNCF, the French National Railway Corporation, also has provided generous support for the conference.

Throughout the three days, conference attendees will examine the Dreyfus Affair and the Frank Affair, considered the Dreyfus of the United States, with a special focus on the legal, political, religious and social issues, as well as examining the legacy of the Dreyfus Affair. The conference will explore how hatred born by anti-Semitism can undermine the law, turning it into an instrument of persecution, thereby mocking due process and justice and threatening the political balance of an entire country. It will also examine Emile Zola’s “J’Accuse”, the famous front page essay denouncing the wrongful conviction of Alfred Dreyfus, explore how the “affair” almost brought down the French Republic, and look at how the media can shape world opinion responsibly or irresponsibly.

“We decided to study both cases because Alfred Dreyfus and Leo Frank were subject to persection through legal prosecution. The injustice committed against each man began with a legal proceeding – the court-martial of Dreyfus, the indictment of Leo Frank,” said Rodger Citron, professor of Law at Touro Law Center and conference planner. “We believe it is important to study the affairs not only because of their historical important, but also because they remind us that we must always be aware of the potential for the legal system to promote injustice. I don’t believe these cases have been studied in parallel in depth like this before.”

Presenters and speakers include: Charles Dreyfus, grandson of Alfred Dreyfus; Simone Rodan- Benzaquen, Paris representative for The American Jewish Committee (AJC), The Honorable Sol Wachtler, Former Chief Judge, New York State Court of Appeals; Steven Erlanger, Paris Bureau Chief of The New York Times; Francois Zimeray, French Ambassador for Human Rights; Martine Le Blond Zola, great granddaughter of Emile Zola; Charles Hynes, Brooklyn District Attorney; Professor Richard Weisberg, Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University of New York, Bishop Francis Deniau, Bishop of Nevers; Theo Klein, founding president of the European Jewish Congress; Samuel Pisar, International Advocate; and so many more.

The conference will take place at various historical sites, including: École Militaire, the Royal Military Academy; the French Senate, which is made up of two chambers - the National Assembly and the Senate; and Cour de Cassation, the highest court in the French judiciary.

Additional information can be found at