"Having reviewed the racial characters of the rest of the Jews in Europe, North Africa, and Asia, insofar as available data have permitted, we are now faced with the task of studying the Ashkenazim. These modern central European Jews, concentrated in the Ukraine, White Russia, northern Rumania, Galicia, Poland in general, Lithuania, Germany, Bohemia, and Austria, have been subjected to considerable study, especially those living in Poland and Lithuania and the countries to the east.168"
These studies, especially that of Fishberg, show a number of important points clearly. One is that the Jews as a whole, without regard to specific political divisions, form an ethnic community with as much statistical homogeneity as do most ethnic groups which have elsewhere been treated as units. Although varied in racial origin and varied individually, in the racial characters measured, the usual distribution pattern is an approximation to a bell-shaped curve. The Ashkenazim of eastern Europe, at least, form a biological unit. This is only to be expected when one considers the spatial mobility of the Jews in history, and, by contrast, their endogamy within the larger religious community.
Another is that stature among the Ashkenazim is environmentally and socially conditioned to a large extent, and geographically variable in a much lesser degree. Mean statures for regional groups vary from 162 cm. to 167 cm., with a general mean around the figure 164 cm. In rough way, the stature level corresponds to that of the local Gentiles, but is one or two centimeters lower in each region. in England, wher the Jews have enjoyed relatively favorable living conditions, and in America among the American born Jews, the stature rises to high levels. In Europe, indoor workers such as tailors and shoemakers have the smallest statures, professional men the tallest; the occupational range is from 160 cm. to over 170 cm. Since the mean stature of the Palestinian Jews was at least 166 cm. in the days before the Diaspora, and since the purely Jewis element in the modern Jewish body must almost everywhere be potentially as tall as that of the Gentiles among whom they live, if not taller, the short stature of eastern European Jews as a whole is, therefore, entirely a reflection of environmental and occupational forces. Their rapid size increase on American soil, in response to better living conditions and perhaps also to a relief from a constant nervous tension, may be partly interpreted as a fulfilment of their genetic possibilities and cannot necessarily be claimed as something entirely new. In the same sense, the inferior chest diameters of the East European Jews, once considered a racial character, are seen to rise to the non-Jewish standard in America.
The head form of the Ashkenazim is relatively constant within the regions of maximum Jewish concentration; in Germany the mean cephalic index for Jews is about 81, rising to 83.5 in Baden; in Galicia again it reaches the level of Baden, and in Bukovina attains 84, but elsewhere, from Austria to the Ukraine and Lithuania, it centers about the mean of 82. There is a slight tendency for the cephalic index level to vary regionally as does that of the corresponding Gentiles, but this tendency is neither strong nor wholly consistent. It is chiefly manifest in the relatively high indices in Galicia and Bukovina. Everywhere in central and eastern Europe, except in comparatively long-headed regions such as Moldavia, the Jews are less brachycephalic than the Gentiles. The central European Jews have been only partly brachycephalized, less so than the Christians, and in view of their wide geographical spread, have maintained a remarkable racial continuity in head form.
A third consideration, that of pigmentation, is found to agree in principle with stature and with head form; the Jews are mainly brunet, with about 55 per cent of dark hair and eye color combinations, and less than 10 per cent which can be construed as blond. In countries where the Gentiles are predominantly blond, or more blond than brunet, the Jews are relatively dark; in countries such as Rumania where the Gentiles are prevailingly brunet, the Jews are blonder than the Gentiles. The Jews have, therefore, struck a pigment balance which is as constant as their balance in head form.
In the dimensions of the head and face, the Jews have likewise developed certain consistencies which operate regardless of geography. The head length is always, except in socially selected groups, less than 190 mm., and often less than 185 mm. The bizygomatic is less than 140 mm., with the same exceptions, and usually stands at the level of 135 mm. or 136 mm., and the nose breadth mean ranges usually between 34 and 36 mm. The vertical diameters of the face and nose are, in existing material, seldom reliable, but there is reason to believe that the upper face height is relatively long in reference to the total face height, which is a Mediterranean racial character. Convexity of the nose, a popular diagnostic of Jews, is usually found in far fewer than 50 per cent; straight noses are in all regional Jewish groups the commonest of profile forms, while, in southern Russia, concave profiles are more frequent than convex.
The physical composition of the central European Jewish body has not been difficult to determine. The Ashkenazim are a reasonably uniform people in a statistical sense; furthermore, many of their metrical characters, as far as we know them, are not markedly different from those of their Mediterranean Jewish ancestors. The facial diameters, for example, relate them closely to the Mediterranean prototype, in strong contrast to the broader faces of the Alpines and Neo-Danubians among whom most of them live. The head form, on the other hand, shows a partial brachycephalization which must be due to the absorption of Gentile blood. At the same time the presence of a strong minority with mixed or light pigmentation makes such an absorption necessary. The Jews are not simply Judaized central Europeans; they are central-Europeanized Jews.