Nazi propaganda has been spreading throughout Jugo-Slavia. Nazi emissaries are lecturing on the benefits of Hitlerism and the pernicious influence of the Jews, and pamphlets and fly-sheets are being distributed by the thousand. One result of this agitation was that Senator Maistorowic recently made a thinly-veiled protest against the admission of German Jewish refugees into Jugo-Slavia. The Government’s attitude is friendly towards the Jews, as was shown in the reply to this protest delivered in the Senate by the Minister of the Interior, M. Lazic.
“There are altogether only 200 Jewish refugees in Jugo-Slavia,” the Minister declared, “and of these many intend going on to Palestine. Many of these immigrants are men of means and intend investing their money in this country. This, and their relations with the Western nations, can only benefit Jugo-Slav industry.
“Both the tradition of our state and common humanity demand that asylum should be given to political refugees, irrespective of their faith. We shall remain true to this tradition, the more so since it is a well-known fact that our Jews have always lived in harmony with our people, have participated on the field of battle in the creation of Jugo-Slavia and cooperated in the material and cultural development of the country.”
Senator Chief Rabbi Dr. Alkalay thereupon thanked the Minister of the Interior for his statement. Protesting against the violent Nazi propaganda, Dr. Alkalay denied Senator Maistorowic’s assertion that the Jews of Jugo-Slavia had remained the pillars of German culture even after the creation of Jugo-Slavia.
Senator Maistorowic, replying, denied that he had been actuated by anti-Semitic motives. “We are, however,” the Senator continued, “surrounded by countries in which the anti-Semitic movements are very strong. The fear therefore exists, and is justified, that Jews from these countries may seek refuge in Jugo-Slavia, which would create a serious political and social danger. If we wish to protect ourselves against anti-Semitism, we must protect ourselves against Semitism. We must use all the means at the disposal of the State in order to prevent the Jewish element in our country from growing stronger. So long as the Jews are no stronger than they are today, they do not represent a danger. But nobody can assert that this would still be the case if the Jewish element were to grow in strength. Then it might well become harmful.”