In 1894, Alfred Dreyfuss, a French officer of the artillery, was convicted for giving military secrets to the Germans. It was a political scandal that divided France and Europe as well, as it was perceived that he was being tried more for being a Jew than for treason. He was sent to the penal colony on Devil's Island in French Guiana. Two years later, proof of both his innocence and of the real guilty party was suppresed by the army. After spending almost five years under the most inhumane of conditions, he was brought back to France and finally exonerated of all charges. He was reinstated into the military in 1906 and served with distinction through World War I.