Zitate von Emile Zola

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Emile Zola

Geburtstag: 2. April 1840
Todesdatum: 29. September 1902

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Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola war ein französischer Schriftsteller und Journalist.

Zola gilt als einer der großen französischen Romanciers des 19. Jahrhunderts und als Leitfigur und Begründer der gesamteuropäischen literarischen Strömung des Naturalismus. Zugleich war er ein sehr aktiver Journalist, der sich auf einer gemäßigt linken Position am politischen Leben beteiligte.

Sein Artikel J’accuse …! spielte eine Schlüsselrolle in der Dreyfus-Affäre, die Frankreich jahrelang in Atem hielt, und trug entscheidend zur späteren Rehabilitierung des fälschlich wegen Landesverrats verurteilten Offiziers Alfred Dreyfus bei.

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Zitate Emile Zola

„La vérité est en marche et rien ne l'arrêtera.“

—  Emile Zola
Die Wahrheit ist im Anmarsch und nichts wird sie aufhalten.) - J'accuse (Ich klage an)

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„Wenn es kein Brot gibt für alle, macht man keine Kinder mehr, und die Nation verreckt!“

—  Emile Zola
Die Erde. Übersetzt von Hans Balzer. Berlin: Rütten & Loening, 1973. S. 164

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„The public was astounded; rumors flew of the most horrible acts, the most monstrous deceptions, lies that were an affront to our history. The public, naturally, was taken in. No punishment could be too harsh. The people clamored for the traitor to be publicly stripped of his rank and demanded to see him writhing with remorse on his rock of infamy.“

—  Emile Zola
Context: The public was astounded; rumors flew of the most horrible acts, the most monstrous deceptions, lies that were an affront to our history. The public, naturally, was taken in. No punishment could be too harsh. The people clamored for the traitor to be publicly stripped of his rank and demanded to see him writhing with remorse on his rock of infamy. Could these things be true, these unspeakable acts, these deeds so dangerous that they must be carefully hidden behind closed doors to keep Europe from going up in flames? No! They were nothing but the demented fabrications of Major du Paty de Clam, a cover-up of the most preposterous fantasies imaginable. To be convinced of this one need only read carefully the accusation as it was presented before the court martial. How flimsy it is! The fact that someone could have been convicted on this charge is the ultimate iniquity. I defy decent men to read it without a stir of indignation in their hearts and a cry of revulsion, at the thought of the undeserved punishment being meted out there on Devil's Island. He knew several languages: a crime! He carried no compromising papers: a crime! He would occasionally visit his country of origin: a crime! He was hard-working, and strove to be well informed: a crime! He did not become confused: a crime! He became confused: a crime! And how childish the language is, how groundless the accusation!

„Lt. Colonel Picquart had carried out his duty as an honest man.“

—  Emile Zola
Context: Lt. Colonel Picquart had carried out his duty as an honest man. He kept insisting to his superiors in the name of justice. He even begged them, telling them how impolitic it was to temporize in the face of the terrible storm that was brewing and that would break when the truth became known.

„We have before us the ignoble spectacle of men who are sunken in debts and crimes being hailed as innocent, whereas the honor of a man whose life is spotless is being vilely attacked: A society that sinks to that level has fallen into decay.“

—  Emile Zola
Context: It came down, once again, to the General Staff protecting itself, not wanting to admit its crime, an abomination that has been growing by the minute. In disbelief, people wondered who Commander Esterhazy's protectors were. First of all, behind the scenes, Lt. Colonel du Paty de Clam was the one who had concocted the whole story, who kept it going, tipping his hand with his outrageous methods. Next General de Boisdeffre, then General Gonse, and finally, General Billot himself were all pulled into the effort to get the Major acquitted, for acknowledging Dreyfus's innocence would make the War Office collapse under the weight of public contempt. And the astounding outcome of this appalling situation was that the one decent man involved, Lt. Colonel Picquart who, alone, had done his duty, was to become the victim, the one who got ridiculed and punished. O justice, what horrible despair grips our hearts? It was even claimed that he himself was the forger, that he had fabricated the letter-telegram in order to destroy Esterhazy. But, good God, why? To what end? Find me a motive. Was he, too, being paid off by the Jews? The best part of it is that Picquart was himself an anti-Semite. Yes! We have before us the ignoble spectacle of men who are sunken in debts and crimes being hailed as innocent, whereas the honor of a man whose life is spotless is being vilely attacked: A society that sinks to that level has fallen into decay.

„It came down, once again, to the General Staff protecting itself, not wanting to admit its crime, an abomination that has been growing by the minute.“

—  Emile Zola
Context: It came down, once again, to the General Staff protecting itself, not wanting to admit its crime, an abomination that has been growing by the minute. In disbelief, people wondered who Commander Esterhazy's protectors were. First of all, behind the scenes, Lt. Colonel du Paty de Clam was the one who had concocted the whole story, who kept it going, tipping his hand with his outrageous methods. Next General de Boisdeffre, then General Gonse, and finally, General Billot himself were all pulled into the effort to get the Major acquitted, for acknowledging Dreyfus's innocence would make the War Office collapse under the weight of public contempt. And the astounding outcome of this appalling situation was that the one decent man involved, Lt. Colonel Picquart who, alone, had done his duty, was to become the victim, the one who got ridiculed and punished. O justice, what horrible despair grips our hearts? It was even claimed that he himself was the forger, that he had fabricated the letter-telegram in order to destroy Esterhazy. But, good God, why? To what end? Find me a motive. Was he, too, being paid off by the Jews? The best part of it is that Picquart was himself an anti-Semite. Yes! We have before us the ignoble spectacle of men who are sunken in debts and crimes being hailed as innocent, whereas the honor of a man whose life is spotless is being vilely attacked: A society that sinks to that level has fallen into decay.

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