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December 27, 2003 by AK

Just an anecdote

On Easter day, Nicholas I (ruled 1825–1855), though a Prussian despot in many ways, used to exchange traditional triple kisses on the cheek with every passer-by. Stopping by a sentinel on guard in the palace, he greeted him, as he had a host of others that day, “Christ is risen!” “No, Sir,” replied the soldier, “it is not true.” It turned out the palace guard was a Jew: it was Nicholas who had ordered Jews to be drafted along with his other non-privileged subjects. (The draft was far from universal but the ordinary term of army service was 25 years.)


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