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The act was called after its leading advocate, Adolphe Cremieux, a prominent French lawyer, a major figure in the French-Jewish community, and the Minister of Justice in the French government of the time.
Determined to curb exclusive and chauvinistic nationalism and antisemitism, Western Jewish leaders, especially Adolphe Cremieux and Gerson Bleiehroder, launched a concerted effort to persuade their respective governments to recognize the independence of these new Balkan states only on condition that they grant Jewish emancipation.
The bronze statuette of the Greek orator Demosthenes, standing on the mantle beside the imposing figure of Isaac Adolphe Cremieux, is apt in view of Cremieux's passionate involvement in such political issues of his day as the separation of church and state, free compulsory public education, and general amnesty for those involved in the Paris Commune.