Marie Georges Picquart was a French army officer and Minister of War. His family was from Alsace, France. He is best known for his role in the Dreyfus Affair. Picquart was a figure of global controversy, revered and reviled in equal measure as the world’s most famous whistle-blower.
As chief of the army intelligence section in 1896, he discovered that the memorandum that had been used to convict Captain Alfred Dreyfus had probably been the work of Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy. Higher officials warned Picquart to conceal his discovery; he persisted and was sent in December 1896 to Tunis and demoted. After the trial of writer Émile Zola, Picquart was accused of forging the note that had convinced him of Esterhazy's guilt. He was dismissed from the service and arrested for forgery. The exoneration of Dreyfus in 1906 also served to absolve Picquart, who was promoted to general and entered Georges Clemenceau's cabinet as minister of war.
Marie Georges Picquart was born on 6 September 1854 in his parents' home, Rue de la Nuée Bleue in Strasbourg. He was the son of Marie Charles François Hubert Picquart, tax collector, and Louise Henriette Mélanie Debenesse.
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