Alfred Dreyfus, an extract from his Mémoires, recorded on 27 March 1912 at the Sorbonne (University)
The 20th of July 1906 was a wonderful day of atonement for France and for the Republic. My affair was over. Lieutenant-Colonel Picquart had been reinstated in the army, and given the rank of Brigadier General as compensation for the persecutions to which he had been subjected for having defended me as soon as he became convinced of my innocence.
All of those who had fought for justice and were still among the living were able to witness how sufferings endured for the sake of Truth were rewarded, but it is certain that they found reward in the inner satisfaction of their consciences and in the esteem of their contemporaries for their sacrifices-even if they appeared to have been forgotten, that fate had not been kind to them, because they were fighting not only for a specific cause, but contributing in large part to one of the most extraordinary works of recovery that the world has ever witnessed, one of those works that will live on in the far future because it marked a turning point in the history of humanity, a enormous step towards an immense era of progress, ideas of freedom, justice and social solidarity.
At the start of the Affair, for those who took part, it was simply a question of justice and humanity. But as the struggle continued against the united forces of oppression, it took on an unsuspected scope, which continued to expand until full light had been shed on the matter, and bringing in its wake a major transformation in people's ideas. Successive discoveries were made, bringing each day a new element that obliged people to reflect and to gradually change their minds about a host of questions that would otherwise have not been considered. A progressive education came about and traditions disappeared, slowly but surely preparing the public to accept important reforms.