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Daily Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters

March 12, 1926
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[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval-Editor]

The discovery by Dr. Ales Hrdlicka, formerly an immigrant from Bohemia and now eminent anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institute, of the new American type, which is non-Nordic, is regarded by a number of papers as a final refutation of the “Nordic superiority” claim made by Dr. Lothrop Stoddard and other proponents of the Nordic theory.

“An American scientist, an immigrant from Bohemia,” writes the “Jewish Morning Journal” (Mar. 8) “has published his observations showing that a new American ‘type’ is being developed with distinct mental and physical characteristics as a result of the welding of the various races in this country. And this new type, the latest and in stature the tallest of all the white races, according to Prof. Hrdlicka, is as far from the Nordic as from the Alpine races, i.e., French, Italians, Spaniards, etc. Thus, the entire foundation on which the restrictive immigration laws are based is shattered at one blow.”

The New York “Times” (March 8), referring to the distinction drawn by Dr. Hrdlicka between the Old American type, whose ancestors were in this country at least three generations back, and the Neo-American type which is being developed as the result of admixture with newer arrivals, observes:

“The facial type of the ‘old American’ is nearest that of the British, as it naturally should be; and while the American cannot be said to be fully developed, it is yet generally distinguishable. But this old American type is ‘not Nordic; it is not even nearer the Nordic than it is to the Alpine. Like the British, it is an intermediate type.’ It is not pleasing to the pride of those who came of this old stock, the original white Americans, to be put in an ‘intermediate’ class, even in such association.”

Life insurance and medical experts, who have read Dr. Hrdlicka’s report, agree with him, we are told by George R. Witte in the “Evening World” of Mar. 10, that a bigger and stronger race is developing here as a result of the welding of the various races.

One of the medical experts of one of the leading insurance companies told Mr. Witte that the Neo-American is “superior to any of the races which formed his stock originally.”

“Take the Americans of German stock, for instance,” he explained. “The mortality rate among them is far lower than among the Germans in Europe. This is due partly to the amalgamation with other races. . .”


The suggestion that an American Jewish philanthropist should endow the chair in Rabbinics at Cambridge University, England, which has been left vacant by the recent death of Dr. Israel Abrahams, is made by the London “Jewish Chronicle” of February 26.

It appears that the chair was supported by subscriptions aggregating $#163; 500 per annum, of which £ 350 was provided by Mr. Claude G. Montefiore, £ 100 by the University, and £ 50 by Christ Church College. When Dr. Abrahams passed away, Mr. Montefiore decided to continue to charge himself with the payment of that amount, but in another more personal direction. In the meantime the Authorities at Cambridge have decided not to maintain this Readership unless an Endowment be provided for it which will produce at least £800 per annum.

“We doubt,” says the “Chronicle”, “whether it would be found feasible to raise in this country the sum needed for the object mentioned. We Jews here are too poor-in imagination we mean; and the purpose is not one which lends itself to long and tedious begging, guinea by guinea. It needs doing spontaneously. In America, however, Jews have again and again shown an altogether different spirit. We wonder whether one could be found willing to provide the Endowment at Cambridge.”

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