The Confession

by the real spy,  Major Esterhazy

Remarkable 3 page letter and 2 page memorandum by the German spy and forger Major Esterhazy,  about his part in the Dreyfus Affair:  In his letter Esterhazy, writing from London, tells his correspondent that he wants to make public the testimony he is to send to the War Department.

5 August 1899

 

Major Esterhazy, the writer of the celebrated bordereau whose alleged authorship formed the basis of the case against Captain Dreyfus, was a German agent. His involvement in the forgery was suspected by Colonel Picquart, but he was acquitted hy a court-martial in 1898.  In an interview with the newspaper Le Matin in June 1899 he verbally admitted writing the bordereau but stated that he was under orders known to the Secretary tor War and the Chief of Staff.  After the arrest and suicide of Colonel Henry,  who had also forged documents relating to the case,  Esterhazy fled France (in the autumn of 1898)  and made his way through Belgium to England, where he lived under the name de Becourt until his death in 1923.

 

In the memorandum Esterhazy lists various points which he feels need to be elaborated on:

 

(letter line 10)  I hold ... that this history of the petit bleu* ,  ... here attached, appears as my declaration.

 

(Memorandum line 4)  The History of The Bordereau, its origin ...  how I wrote it,  how it was taken.

 

(Memorandum line 10)   The truth about the Petti Bleu*, the work of Picquart or of Picquart’s associate Schwarzkoppen.

 

*The ‘petit bleu' was a telegram sent to Esterhazy by the German military attache, which enabled Picqnart to identify Esterhazy as the author of the bordereau.  Attempts were made to discredit Picquart by claiming that he had added Esterhazy's name and address to the telegram.

 

Esterhazy admits to writing the bordereau but emphasising that this was done with the full knowledge of the General Staff;

 

(Memorandum line 16) The slip and its known origin by the general officers of the Estate General...

 

(Memorandum page 2 line 15) The list of some people ... who knew from my mouth that I had written the slip.

 

Esterhazy is still anxious to trumpet his innocence and to implicate as many others as he can, sometimes by apparently wild accusations about the role of the Russians and of a fictitious character called "Bro". 

 

( letter P.S.) Despite the efforts of the Dreyfusards, I believe that one begins to discover the Russian connection,  that is the key point of the question, ...  I will possibly have some serious things to say during the course of the debates...

 

(Memorandum line 17)  They warned me. They invented the “Bro” history. This invention was known if not suggested by ...

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