It sounds surprising to me too that a Jew would be an officer, other
than perhaps a non-commissioned officer such as corporal or sergeant.
My great-uncle Chaim provides some anecdotal evidence. Chaim served
in the Czar's military around 1900 in a regiment that had the
reputation of picking its members for their good looks and physical
prowess. My great-uncle was physically powerful (he came >from a
family of blacksmiths), handsome, and well above average in
intelligence. His daughter wrote in her memoir that it did not take
long for him to show his exceptional qualities so that"soon after
joining his regiment, he was promoted to Lance-Corporal. As a Jew he
could not expect any further advancement."
Now I'll try to do some real research to see if my cousin's
explanation for his lack of advancement is correct. I'd never
questioned it before, so thanks for bringing this issue to my