Drumont, Edouard-Adolphe°

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DRUMONT, EDOUARD-ADOLPHE ° (1844–1917), leader of the antisemitic movement in France. Originally holding strongly leftist opinions, while still an unknown journalist Drumont contributed to a number of publications, including La Liberté owned by the Jewish Saint-Simonist, Isaac *Péreire. In the 1880s, however, Drumont's views changed and he became associated with the activities of ultra-Catholic circles, although adhering to certain remnants of his radical social philosophy. It was on this foundation that he developed a rabid antisemitism, which became his consuming passion. His book La France juive, first published in 1886, describes France as subjugated to the Jews in the political, economic, social, and cultural spheres; in a short time it ran to over a hundred editions. Drumont continued his anti-Jewish propaganda in further books. In 1889 he founded the Antisemitic League (see *Antisemitic Political Parties and Organizations) and La Libre Parole whose policy veered between the Catholic right and social radicalism, but was invariably violently antisemitic in tone. Drumont and his paper had a considerable share in exacerbating the *Dreyfus Affair. In 1898 Drumont was elected to the chamber of deputies, but after the victory of Dreyfus' supporters he was not returned a second time; in 1909 his application for membership of the French Academy was rejected.


L. Daudet, Les oeuvres dans les hommes (1922); I. Schapira, Der Anti-semitismus in der franzoesischen Literatur: Eduard Drumont und seine Quellen (1927); G. Bernanos, La Grande peur des bien-pensants (1931); R.F. Byrnes, Anti-semitism in Modern France (1950); Dictionnaire de biographie française, 11 (1967), 852–4. add. bibliography: M. Winock, Edouard Drumont et Cie: antisémitisme et fascisme en France (1982); F. Busi, The Pope of Antisemitism: The Career and Legacy of Edouard-Adolphe Drumont (1986).

[Moshe Catane]