The stud book of one of history's most unsuccessful breeding experiments ceased publication last week. The Bolsheviks had liquidated the Almanack de Gotha.
Nearly two centuries ago, the Almanack had started out as a gilded Who's Who of the Holy Roman Empire's better aristocrats. Later, its finely printed pages were infiltrated by important commoners and assorted vital statistics. It wound up as little more than a register of political jobholders and royal unemployed.
Last week, the Red Army descended on its staid old plant (Justus Perthes) at Gotha, Saxony, carried off its presses and confiscated its archives.
Henceforth, the charts and chronicles of...