A rippling effect of the Holocaust

first_imgRussian cities and regions whose Jewish populations bore the brunt of deaths and displacement in the Holocaust have seen lower economic growth and wages ever since, according to a detailed new analysis of seven decades of Soviet and Russian data. These same areas have tended to resist political reform, exhibiting greater popular support for Communist candidates since the collapse of the Soviet Union.The findings, by political scientists and economists at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, are presented in a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.“The Holocaust wiped out many of the most educated and productive people in western Russia,” said co-author James A. Robinson, the David Florence Professor of Government at Harvard. “It was a major shock to the social structure of the invaded regions, dramatically reducing the size of the Russian middle class. While there is a broad body of literature on the psychological effects of the Holocaust, there has been almost no study of the long-term economic and political impact on the societies left behind. We set out to better understand how this cataclysmic event has continued to reverberate in Russia.”Most historians believe that a million Soviet Jews perished in the Holocaust, as the German army thrust into Soviet territory in 1941, followed by paramilitary death squads that systematically eradicated Jewish populations.Robinson and co-authors Daron Acemoglu of MIT and Tarek A. Hassan of Chicago Booth found that the killing of Jews in the Holocaust appears to have hurt many Russian cities and regions by permanently reducing the size of the middle class there. The analysis shows that Jews, despite being a small minority, made up a disproportionate share of the Russian middle class. Before World War II, 67 percent of Russian Jews held white-collar jobs, compared with only about 15 percent of non-Jews. In some of the invaded areas, 70 percent of physicians and many workers in high-skill jobs in trade and education were Jews.“The persecution of Jews had long-lasting effects on the societies left behind, not because Jews constituted a large share of the population, but because they constituted a large share of key strata of society, which are essential constituents of economic and political development,” said Hassan, an assistant professor of finance at Chicago Booth.In a five-year effort, the researchers combed over census and other data from across Russia, comparing economic and political outcomes in areas never occupied by the Nazis, those occupied with large Jewish populations, and those occupied with small Jewish populations.In the 11 Russian oblasts (administrative districts) most affected by the Holocaust, the Jewish population declined by an average 39 percent between 1939 and 1959. These areas now have markedly lower per-capita gross domestic product and lower average wages. The average GDP per capita was just $4,555 in 2002, compared with a nationwide average of $5,855.Acemoglu, Hassan, and Robinson also found a lasting tendency toward anti-reform politicians in these regions. In the 11 oblasts that suffered most under Nazi occupation, voters in the 1990s were more favorably disposed toward Communist candidates than were citizens in other regions. They also demonstrated greater support for preserving the Soviet Union in a 1991 plebiscite called by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.While the correlation between economic and political outcomes and the decline in Jewish population is a strong one, Robinson cautions that the relationship may be influenced by other factors.“We find a robust relationship between the decline in Jewish populations and subsequent economic development, but this study is not meant to be the final word on this topic,” he said. “This is a first attempt to analyze this question, and one which will hopefully encourage other researchers to study the long-term political and economic effects of this wrenching event.”The research was funded in part by the William A. Ackman Fund for Holocaust Studies and the Warburg Foundation.last_img read more

Butterfly Garden.

first_img Scout your garden daily for problems and to enjoy the myriad of butterflies and other life that will come. Return the mulch and pine straw to the freshly planted area, and fertilize your whole garden. Water in the fertilizer thoroughly, and weed occasionally, as needed. Butterfly Photo Gallery Avoid Pesticides Water thoroughly after fertilizing and often during dry spells. Weed occasionally, and remove spent flowers to keep more flowers coming. Provide the butterflies and hummingbirds nectar all spring, summer and fall. Plant the food source, or forage, for the butterfly species you want. One of the most popular gardening specialties is butterfly and hummingbird gardening. The key is to select the widest array of nectar-producing flowers you can. To have a successful butterfly and hummingbird garden, consider several things before planting. Location Most butterflies prefer to rest and feed in full sunshine, so the ideal place would have six or more hours of daily sunlight in June. Fertilize twice more, on May 21 and June 15. Don’t fertilize again after July 1. Freshly planted perennials may need extra care. Picture how you and others will view the garden and the butterflies. Putting larger plants to the rear and smaller plants up front makes sense. So does putting a butterfly feeding dish or birdbath where you can easily see it. Maintenance More on Butterfly Garden:Best Butterfly Plants Forages and Attractors Place for Water, Rest Attracting Hummingbirds After a killing frost, let your plants dry down naturally. Around Thanksgiving, or Christmas if we have a warm fall, cut your butterfly bush and ‘Miss Huff’ Lantana stems to 6 inches high. Add several bushels of compost, rotted pine bark or manure. Then till again until the soil is loose. Your plants will thrive in well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. Spring Replanting One way to control pests is to gently wash the bugs off plants with a pressure nozzle on the garden hose. Many will drown. Insect predators will eat others on the ground. Around May 1, scrape away mulch where you want new butterfly plants and install them as you did your first planting. If the site is grassy, remove the grass first. Tilling may work, but some grasses, such as Bermuda and centipede, can sprout by the millions from the chopped-up pieces. You may need to use a contact herbicide. After Frost Soil Preparation With your lawn mower blade on high (3 inches or so), mow everything but the butterfly bush, lantana and other woody shrubs. It’s best if you use a mulching blade. If your garden is a good source of nectar and forage, butterflies will inhabit it all season. Hummingbirds will be more apt to nest and hang around all summer, too. Fertilize again in late May and again in mid-June. Don’t get fertilizer on the flowers and leaves. It will burn them. Location Soil Preparation Avoid Pesticides Maintenance After Frost Spring Replanting Anything used to kill bugs won’t be good for a butterfly garden. Leave the debris on the ground, and cover it with an inch or two of fresh pine straw. Mound leaves around the Lantana and butterfly-bush trunks. Fertilize your garden the day you plant it or clean it up after winter, around March 15. Evenly sprinkle about 1 pound of 10-10-10 for every 100 square feet of soil surface. The single most important thing you can do for your garden is prepare the soil. Use a shovel or tiller to turn it up 12 inches deep over the entire area. Ready access to water will make watering and watching more convenient. A small bench or chair nearby will make the butterfly garden a great morning or evening resting spot. Photo by Paul Thomas Do this in the morning, when bugs are active, to let the foliage dry before night. A few chewed leaves is a small price to pay for your butterflies’ health.last_img read more

October Drought

first_imgAfter five months of above-normal temperatures and dry conditions, almost 75 percent of Georgia is now experiencing some level of drought or abnormally dry conditions. Because of the hot, dry conditions, the drought expanded and strengthened west of a line running from Screven County, Georgia, in the north to Ware County, Georgia in the south. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Drought Monitor shows an expanded area affected by extreme drought – the fourth drought level on the monitor’s five-level scale – grew from 11 percent to 40 percent of the state. Areas affected by exceptional drought – the most severe drought designation – expanded to cover 14 percent of the state.Hurricane Matthew, which struck the Georgia coast the weekend of Oct. 8, provided rainfall along coastal Georgia, but the rest of the state saw extremely warm and dry conditions, with only one or two days of measurable rain.Lake Lanier, north of Atlanta, reached its lowest point in the last four years last month. Twenty-two public boat ramps were closed due to low water. In Haralson County, Georgia, west of Atlanta, the Tallapoosa River dropped below the intake level for the water plant there. Water was imported for schools and other drastic water conservation measures were undertaken by residents.Numerous forest fires occurred across the driest areas of the state and residents were encouraged not to start fires, especially at the end of the month. Some of the fires were spread by strong winds around Hurricane Matthew.Winds from Hurricane Matthew also blew many green pecans off the trees in the southeast corner of the state. In Tattnall County, Georgia, alone about one-third of the pecan trees were toppled by the winds and will take years to replace. Cotton was blown off of plants to the ground and yield will be significantly reduced. In addition to agricultural damage, three people were killed in Georgia due to the hurricane, millions lost power and many people evacuated inland ahead of the storm.Despite the hurricane-fueled rain in part of the state, rain reports from many National Weather Service reporting stations tied records for being the driest October on record. Athens, Georgia, saw the second-driest October in 114 years of record following 1963, which had no rain. Savannah, Georgia, saw the third-wettest October in 143 years, after 19.84 inches in 1994 and 12.50 inches in 1990.Daily rainfall records were set in Alma, Georgia on Oct. 7 with 2.83 inches, surpassing the old record of 1.84 inches set in 1996, and in Savannah on Oct. 8 with 2.57 inches, breaking the old record of 2.10 inches set in 1952.After five months of above-normal temperatures and dry conditions, almost 75 percent of Georgia is now experiencing some level of drought.The highest monthly total precipitation according to National Weather Service reporting stations was 11.60 inches in Savannah, 7.91 inches above normal. The lowest monthly total precipitation was recorded in Albany, Georgia, with just a trace of rain, 2.59 inches below normal.Atlanta received 0.16 inches of rain, 3.25 inches below normal.Athens received 0.03 inches of rain, 3.52 inches below normal.Columbus, Georgia, received 0.92 inches of rain, 1.66 inches below normal.Macon, Georgia, received 0.2 inches of rain, 2.59 inches below normal.Augusta, Georgia, received 2.09 inches of rain, 1.18 inches below normal.Alma received 3.23 inches of rain, 0.20 inches above normal.Brunswick, Georgia, received 11.19 inches of rain, 6.73 inches above normal.Valdosta, Georgia, received 0.46 inches of rain, 2.74 inches below normal.Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network volunteers along the coast reported daily rainfall amounts of 10 inches or more on the morning of Oct. 8 after the passage of Hurricane Matthew. A Garden City, Georgia, observer in Chatham County reported 13.86 inches that morning, after taking three separate readings of the gauge to keep it from overflowing. The highest monthly rainfall of 14.58 inches was measured south of Savannah in Chatham County, followed by 14.12 inches reported by the Garden City observer.A number of daily high temperature records were set or tied on Oct. 29, 30 and 31 in Atlanta, Athens, Macon, Savannah and Augusta, and records were tied in Brunswick and Columbus on Halloween.Atlanta’s monthly average temperature was 69.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 6.3 degrees above normal.Athens’ monthly average temperature was 67.8 F, 4.8 degrees above normal.Columbus’ monthly average temperature was 70.8 F, 4.3 degrees above normal.Macon’s monthly average temperature was 68.7 F, 3.8 degrees above normal.Savannah’s monthly average temperature was 70.8 F, 2.9 degrees above normal.Brunswick’s monthly average temperature was 71.9 F, 1.7 degrees above normal.Alma’s monthly average temperature was 69.7 F, 1.3 degrees above normal.Augusta’s monthly average temperature was 68.2 F, 3.8 degrees above normal.Albany’s monthly average temperature was 72.4 F, 4.3 degrees above normal.Rome, Georgia’s monthly average temperature was 67.2 F, six degrees above normal.Valdosta’s monthly average temperature was 71.3 F, 2.6 degrees above normal.For more information, see the Climate and Agriculture in the South East blog at blog.extension.uga.edu/climate/ or visit gaclimate.org. Please feel free to email your weather and climate impacts on agriculture to share on the blog to [email protected]last_img read more

Pan Am Olympic champ Thompson wins 100m, BVI land first-ever gold

first_imgLIMA, Peru (CMC) – Reigning Olympic double sprint champion, Elaine Thompson, added yet another title to her collection when she stormed to victory in the women’s 100 metres at the Pan American Games here Wednesday.Running out of lane five, Thompson initially struggled to get clear of the field before pulling away after 60 metres to cross the line in a time of 11.18 seconds, in chilly conditions at the athletics stadium.Trinidadian Michelle-Lee Ahye took silver in 11.27 while Brazilian Vitoria Cristina Rosa finished with bronze in 11.30.“It was cold but I know everyone out there was cold. I just came out here to use this as preparation for the world championships,” Thompson said afterwards.“It’s my first time (here). I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a high profile athlete here representing myself and my country.”Jamaican Natasha Morrison was sixth in 11.40 and Trinidadian Kelly Ann Baptiste last in 11.52.Thompson’s success was one of two gold for Jamaica on Wednesday, as Natoya Goule snatched gold in the 800 metres in two minutes 01.26 seconds.Cuban Rose Mary Almanza Blanco finished second in 2:01.64 while Uruguay’s Deborah Rodriguez took bronze in 2:01.38.Barbadian Sade Sealy missed out on a podium finish when she came in fourth in 2:02.23, Trinidadian Alena Brooks was sixth in 2:02.75 while another Barbadian, Sonia Gaskin, finished last in 2:05.68.There was disappointment for the English-speaking Caribbean in the men’s 100 metres final as only Antiguan Cejhae Greene cracked the top three when he took bronze in 10.40 seconds.American Michael Rodgers won gold in 10.09 with Paulo Andre de Oliveira of Brazil nailing silver in a time of 10.16.Earlier Tuesday, Jamaican Fedrick Dacres successfully defended his Pan Am title when he won the men’s discus in a championship record throw of 67.68 metres.The 25-year-old, who also captured gold at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast last year, threw the winning mark on his second attempt.American Reginald Jagers was second with 64.48 while Cuban Jorge Fernandez finished with bronze with 64.24.Chantel Malone, meanwhile, pulled off an upset in the women’s long jump when she beat Olympic champion Colombian Caterine Ibargüen to deliver British Virgin Islands’ first-ever Pan Am gold medal.The 27-year-old measured 6.68 metres on her first attempt as Ibargüen struggled and finished fifth with 6.54.American Keturah Orji captured silver with a leap of 6.66 while Jamaica’s Tissanna Hickling was third in 6.59.last_img read more