Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/184

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

who have still three, almost four, inches more to grow. In Bosnia, for example, where the natives range at about the American level—that is to say, among the very tallest in the world (1.72 metre)—the Jews are nearly three inches and a half shorter on the average.[1] If we turn to northern Italy, where Lombroso has recently investigated the matter, we apparently find the Jew somewhat better favored by comparison. He is in Turin less than an inch inferior to his Italian neighbors. But why? Not because taller than in the case of Bosnia, for his stature in both places is the same. The difference decreases, not because the Jew in Piedmont is taller, but solely because the north Italians are only of moderate height. So it goes all over Austria and Russia: the diminutiveness is plainly apparent,[2] There is "in all Europe only a single exception to the rule we have cited. Anutchin finds them in Odessa and Riga slightly to exceed the Christians. In order to emphasize this point it will repay us to consider the adopted fatherland of the Jews a bit more in detail.

Our map herewith shows a general average of stature for Poland by districts. This unhappy country appears to be populated by the shortest human beings north of the Alps; it is almost the most stunted in all Europe. The great majority of the districts, as our map shows, are characterized by a population whose adult men scarcely average five feet four inches (1.62 metre) in height. This is more than half a head shorter than the type of the British Isles or northern Germany. What is the meaning of this? Is it entirely the fault of the native Poles? We know that the northern Slavs are all merely mediocre in stature. But this depression is too serious to be accounted for in this way; and further analysis shows that the defect is largely due to the presence of the vast horde of Jews, whose physical peculiarity drags down the average for the entire population.[3] This has been proved directly. Perhaps the deepest pit in this great "misery spot," as we have termed such areas of dwarfed population elsewhere, is in the capital city of Warsaw, where Elkind found the average stature of two hundred male Jews to be less than five feet three inches and a half (1.61 metre).[4] The women were only four feet eleven inches tall on the average. Compare the little series of maps given on pages 172 and 173 if further proof of this national peculiarity be needed. Two of these, it will be observed, give

  1. Glück, 1896; and Weisbach, 1877 and 1895 a.
  2. Majer and Kopernicki, 1877, p. 36, for Ruthenia; Stieda, 1883, p. 70; Anutchin, 1889, p. 114, etc.
  3. Zakrezewski, 1891, p. 38. In the October Monthly our stature map of all Russia brings out the contrast very strongly.
  4. Centralblatt für Anthropologie, iii, p. 66. Uke, cited by Andree, 1881, p. 32, agrees.