Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/442

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
438
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

America, but it would receive the bulk of the Russian and Roumanian emigrants, and thus relieve the pressure here.

Two facts concerning the physique of the Hebrew race in general have been frequently noted. These are their longevity and their freedom from consumption. These facts seem rather inconsistent with the known poor physique of the Jewish immigrant. The first can be explained by their abstinence from hazardous occupations, their relative immunity from tenement house conditions, and the care which the Jews bestow on their sick. The freedom from consumption claimed for Jews in other parts of the world can not be said to obtain in New York. Consumption is very prevalent among them and is probably due to a combination of climatic influences and their manner of life in the Ghetto. Tenement house conditions alone could not explain the relative frequency of consumption, because they have been exposed to just such conditions for centuries.

The physical inferiority of the Jews is partially offset by their mental capability. Their intellects are sharpened by centuries of mental training. They possess in a remarkable degree the power of concentration of mind upon the object to be attained and a dogged pertinacity that spells victory for the student. They will deny themselves anything to obtain an education, and, when they have the opportunity, occupy a prominent place among students in every branch of study.

 

The Magyars.

The tiresome routine of inspection at Ellis Island produces varied effects upon immigrants, according to their temperament or race. Slavs drift through with blank faces and animal-like docility. The diminutive representatives of the Latin races appear frightened, but their faces are alert, eager, watchful. The Irishman treats the whole matter as a huge joke, and passes the inspectors with his cap on one side of his head and wearing a broad smile. The Magyar differs from all others, no halting hesitation in his gait, no evidence of terror or uncertainty, but he walks with military precision and confidence and something of a challenge in his bold defiant eyes. In short, he evidences the carriage of the trained soldier and the unconquerable spirit of a proud, warlike people.

About the close of the tenth century we find the Magyars established in what is now Hungary, under the leadership of Arpad. They undoubtedly came from east of the Carpathians at this time and came originally from the Finno Ugric cradle in western Siberia. They were probably akin to the 'Huns' who devastated Europe under Attila in the fifth century. Like the Huns they were absolute barbarians and carried war and pillage during the first century of their advent through the countries to the west and south. They were finally defeated by