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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/365

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349
THE RACIAL GEOGRAPHY OF EUROPE.

are these traits. Not even to the Jew himself are they always a sure criterion. Weissenberg gives an interesting example of this.[1] To a friend, a Jew in Elizabethgrad, he submitted two hundred and fifty photographs of Russian Jews and Christians in undistinctive costume. Seventy per cent of the Jews were rightly chosen, while but ten per cent of the Russians were wrongly classed as Jews. Of what concern is it whether this characterization be entirely featural, or in part a matter of expression? The first would be a matter of direct heredity, the second hypothesis partakes more of the nature of a characteristic acquired from the social environment. Some one—Jacobs, I think—speaks of it as the "expression of the Ghetto." It certainly appears in the remarkable series of composite Jewish portraits published in his monograph. It would not be surprising to find this true. Continued hardship, persecution, a desperate struggle against an inexorable human environment as well as natural one, could not but write its lines upon the face. The impression of a dreary past is deep sunk in the bodily proportions, as we have seen. Why not in the face as well?

We are now prepared, in conclusion, to deal with what is perhaps the most interesting phase of our discussion. It is certainly, if true, of profound sociological importance. We have in these pages spoken at length of the head form—primary index of race; we have shown that there are Jews and Jews in this respect. Yet which was the real Jew it was not for us to decide, for the ninety-and-nine were broad-headed, while the Semite in the East is still, as ever, a longheaded member of the Africanoid races. This discouraged our hopes of proving the existence of a Jewish cephalic type as the result of purity of descent. It may indeed be affirmed with certainty that the Jews are by hereditary descent from early times no purer than most of their European neighbors. Then we discovered evidence that in this head form the Jews were often closely akin to the people among whom they lived. In long-headed Africa they were dolichocephalic. In brachycephalic Piedmont, though supposedly of Sephardim descent, they were quite like the Italians of Turin. And all over Slavic Europe no distinction in head form between Jew and Christian existed. In the Caucasus also they approximate closely the cranial characteristics of their neighbors. Hypnotic suggestion was not needed to find a connection here, especially since all history bore us out in our assumption of a large degree of intermixture of Gentile blood. Close upon this disproval of purity of type by descent came evidence of a distinct uniformity of facial type. Even so impartial an observer as Weissenberg—certainly not prejudiced in favor of cephalic invariability—confesses this featural unity.


  1. 1895, p. 563.