the obsession with the Jews as a group had a long history, the statistical enumeration of them as distinct from other groups began here, and enabled *pogrom* to be pursued with the administrative efficiency of industry. Or what Nabokov termed - ‘great gobs of Nazi pseudo-efficiency’.
"German biopolitics began in earnest after the Seven Years’ War in 1757-63, and here the issue was underpopulation. […] Many features of Prussian statistics originate with this objective concern, augmented by the zealous administration-for-its-own-sake of Frederick the Great.
A list of the categories of things that were counted during his reign required seven pages. …there were idiosyncrasies. First, a fundemental distinction was imposed upon the population. Every person had to be either civil or military. The military included not only the soldiers, but also their dependants and servants. […] *This sorting was enduring*. When we examine the excellent yearbooks published by the Prussian statistical bureau throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century we find the first division in the population: military on the left, civil on the right. You were first of all civil or military, then you were male or female, servant or master, Mennonite or Old Catholic.
On the civilian side of the list, the nine basic categories had a subtabulation for people who were Walloons, French, Bohemians, Salzburgers or Jews.
Most designations of minority groups were local and haphazard, the exception being Jews. They show up in 1745, and, at that time, not as a religious group. Soon there was to be a completely separate and regular enumeration of all Jewish households. Complete tables, known as the *General-Judentabellen* or *Provinzial-Judenfamilie-Listen*, became a routine part of Prussian numbers in 1745.”
Knew the first bit, but not the second:
"In studying life tables, [Babbage] had become fascinated by a phenomenon noted long ago by Laplace and others: there is always a proportional excess of male over female births, but this excess decreases for illegitimate births. Laplace showed that the excess is significant, and offered the following explanation: all children in foundling homes are registered as illegitimate, and parents have a tendency to abandon legitimate female but not male newborn, and in particular country families will abandon their daughters at city orphanages. Babbage added differential infanticide. During his stay in Berlin Babbage met with Hoffmann, the professor-director of the Prussian statistical bureau. He obtained results of the Prussian census of 1828 and the ratios of male and female births for the preceding decade, cross-classified as illegitimate and legitimate. Among the legitimate, males excceed females by 10.6 births to 10, as opposed to less than 10.3 to 10 for the illegitimate. He may have had some eugenical thoughts, for he recalled a apper from the 1823 Paris Academy of Sciences, claiming that the sex ratio of ovine births can be immensely influenced by the selection and diet of the parents. He also noted that in Prusia the Jewish birth rate exceeds the Christian one (5.35 live births per Jewish couple, as opposed to 4.78 for Christians). Moreover the disproportion of male over female births is substantially greater for Jewish families than for Christian ones (11.2 to 10 as opposed to 10.6 to 10)."
(footnote, The Taming of Chance - Ian Hacking)
[the Prussian concern for Jewish statistics is a recurring grim subject in the book]