Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/186

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172
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

cially, in the whole city of Warsaw in fact, can not produce an average stature equal to that of the very poorest Poles; and this, too, in the most miserable section of the capital city of one of the most stunted countries in Europe.

We may assume it as proved, therefore, that the Jew is to-day a very defective type in stature. He seems to be susceptible to favorable influences, however; for in London, the West End prosperous

PSM V54 D186 Stature of poles and jews in warsaw.png

Jews almost equal the English in height, while they at the same time surpass their East End brethren by more than three inches.[1] In Russia also they become taller as a class wherever the life conditions become less rigorously oppressive. They are taller in the fertile Ukraine than in sterile Lithuania; they sometimes boast of a few relatively tall men.[2] These facts all go to show that the Jew is short, not by heredity, but by force of circumstances; and that where he is given an even chance, he speedily recovers a part at least of the ground lost during many ages of social persecution. Jacobs mentions an interesting fact in this connection about his upper-class English Jews. Close analysis of the data seems to show that, for the present at least, their physical development has been stretched nearly to the upper limit; for even in individual cases the West End Jews of London manifest an inability to surpass the height of five feet nine inches. So many have been blessed by prosperity that the average has nearly reached that of the English; but it is a mean stature of which the very tall form no component part. Thus per-

 

  1. Jacobs, 1889, p. 81.
  2. Talko-Hryncewicz, 1892, pp. 7 and 58.