Political Emancipation Reduced the Birth Rate Among Europe4an Jews

Decline Among Jews Greater Than in Other Communist (J. T. A. Mail Service)

The contention that Jews are a prolitic race is refuted in a letter published in the current issue of the “British Medical Journal,” the organ of the British Medical Association, by Dr. M. Sourasky, who bases his statements on stastics which j have been collected in the course of investigations conducted by the Jewish Health Organization of Great Britain. 1 Dr. Sourasky refers to a remark on the high birth rate among Jews made by Dr. Letrtia Fairfield during the discussion on the falling birth rate at the annual meeting of the British Medical Association.

The contention that Jews are a prolitic race is being made repeatedly, though all the facts point to the contrary, Dr. Sourasky writes. It is true that Jews have the injunction to “increase and multiply, and replenish the earth” and that Biblical history records that in Egypt “the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly.” It is also true, if Biblical statistics are to be accepted at their face value, that the seventy souls that migrated wih Jacob increased in the space of 430 years to about 3,000,000 (603,550 I males “from twenty years and upwards all that were able to go forth to war in Israel”).

“But Biblical commands and statistics arc no criteria of conditions of taining in modern days. The fertility of the Jews was probably high during the beginning of the last century, but towards the latter part conditions had changed enormously. With the political emancipation of the Jews in West-tern Europe, a great weakening of religious fervor occurred with a consequent disregard oi Biblical injunctions. The Jewish birth rate declined rapidly and in many places fell much below that obtaining among the non-Jewish ccommunities.”

Dr. Souraslcy appends a table of statistics in Berlin, Vienna, London and other places showing that the decline in the birth rate is found among Jews in a most accentuated form.

“The figures,” he concludes, “show that the declining birth rate is presenting an even more acute problem to Jewry than to other communities. There is certainly no jnstification -for speaking of a high fertility among Jews that is now a thing of the past.”

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