1894 October 13, DREYFUS AFFAIR (France)
Began in France with the arrest of Alfred Dreyfus, an Alsatian captain. He was accused of passing military secrets to the Germans. Dreyfus was not religious or even acknowledged as a Jew, yet he became the pawn of anti-Semitic and anti-Republic forces. The entire country became divided between Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards. The subsequent trial and its anti-Semitic overtones served as an impetus for many Jews (i.e. Herzl) to become aware of their own Jewishness.