Craig wrote:Barrington James
How did you get your (2) did you use death rates, I really enjoyed your post, but had a hard time following the where you got the number of israli Jews in 1945? Thanks
Hello Craig..Thanks for your great question. My thinking went like this: There were two groups of Jewish survivors still alive in 2000…the Jews of Israel and the Jews living all over the world from South Africa, to Australia, to the USA.... I figured the Jews of Israel would be the ‘purest” group to work with; they would not have assimilated into the population as much as the other Jews do or did.
In any case I still had a problem. How does one decide on the death rate of such a closed population as the Jews of Israel, for the death rates are usually given in terms of populations that are both growing, giving birth, and dying. And any births from this group,,though there were many, would not be a survivor; the survivors were just dying.
Another important factor, the most important factor was that Vad Vashem in Israel had more or less solved the problem for me.. They had done a prediction on the number of Holocaust survivors who would be still alive in the years from 2002 until 2020. They did not give the formula for this prediction; maybe I should have asked them for it, but I didn’t. Instead, using my calculator and something called regressional analysis I came up with a second degree function that seemed to fit the data. I then used this equation, this function, to determine the number of Israeli Jews who must have been alive in 1945, (2) in the equation, and then the fraction or ratio to calculate the number of Jews who must have survived the Holocaust.
However I would be the first to say that a tiny error in my formula could very well lead to a big error in my final calculations.
I also tried to do the whole problem as one would do any problem involving compound interest using the function P(t)= P(1+i)^n where P(t) is the population in year t, P, is the present population ( 1,200, 000 or whatever), and i is the death rate, and n is the number of years since 1945. However this formula is not perfect either because i is not a constant in this case. The death rate, i, would be a function of time, not a constant. The death rate, i ,would of course go up over the years...in any case using a constant death rate of i equal to 2%, 2.5% and 3% I got the number of survivors to be 3.6, 4.8 and 6.4 million. …so you can see the problem…
To tell you the truth I was hoping that someone with more time and a better understanding of statistics would take my solution and improve it. So far no one wants to risks it. However, come to think of it, I do know some people who make a living with this sort of stuff…I will give then a call..and get back to you.
You can fool too many of the people most of the time.