The Abkhaz Dilemma and the Czar's Dog

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

There is an old story about a pogrom in Czarist Russia. During the pogrom, attackers break into a Jewish home, destroy much of the meager property inside and threaten to kill the man of the house. The terrified man pleads for his life and is finally spared under the condition that he teach the Czar’s dog to talk within one year. If he fails, his attackers promise they will come back and kill him. When the attackers leave, the man’s wife says to him “Are you crazy? How are you ever going to teach the Czar’s dog to talk?” The man responds “Who knows? In a year, the dog might die, or the Czar might die.”

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Academic Units
Harriman Institute
Published Here
October 20, 2011