Thingish Things

Random Anecdote # 1

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jan• 15•11

I’ve always enjoyed historical anecdotes, so I thought I’d share some favorites as an occasional series on this blog. This courtesy of The Little Brown Book of Anecdotes, Clifton Fadiman, Editor. (A highly recommended buy.)

Christian X (1870-1947), king of Denmark (1912-47). During the German occupation of Denmark the king’s courage and dignity won him international respect.  He was imprisoned by the Germans from 1943-1945 for rejecting their anti-Semitic legislation.

During the occupation, but before his imprisonment, the king noticed a Nazi flag flying over a Danish public building.  He immediately called the German commandant, demanding that the flag be taken down at once. The commandant refused to comply with the king’s request.  “Then a soldier will go take it down,” said the king. “He will be shot,” returned the commandant. “I think not,” replied the king, “for I shall be that soldier.”

The flag was taken down.


*Bloggers note: My great grandfather, Maurice Francis Egan, had the privilege of knowing King Christian X while serving as ambassador to Denmark, so this was a natural start to the series.

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