Inter-marriage of officers of the Jugoslav air force and Jewish girls was viewed as a danger to the national safety of Jugoslavia in a secret order issued by General Rad. S. Stanoilovitch on January 23, 1927, to the chiefs of the air force detachments.
Supplementing a previous despatch of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to this effect, the American Jewish Congress made public yesterday the full text of the order which was published in the newspaper "Hrvat," ‘in Zagreb, Jugoslavia, in October, 1928. The officer who contemplate marriage with Jewesses were threatened with expulsion from the air force on the ground that it would endanger the force as it would, by marriage ties, come under the control of Jews who are, Gen. Stanoilovitch declares, "an extra-national element."
The American Jewish Congress received the full text from Mr. Zevi Aberson of the Geneva Burean of the Council on the Rights of Jewish Minorities, who has protested against the issuance of this order to the Jugoslavian representative at the League of Nations. Mr. Aberson pointed out that the General’s order is not only an offense to the Jews of Jugoslavia, but a violation of the constitution of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croates and Slovenes, and an infraction of the provisions of the Treaty of St. Germain. Assurances have been made by Jugoslavian officials that the matter will be investigated. The Geneva Burean, however, will insist on a public withdrawal of the secret order and on the making of proper amends, the American Jewish Congress declared. The text of the secret order follows:
"Secret Order No. 5. January 23, 1927, to the chiefs of the Air Force Detachments.
"My attention has been drawn to an interesting situation which has arisen in the Air Force, constituting a threat of a Jewish usurpation of the national character of the air service.
"It is interesting to note that this situation follows the passing of the Law of Assurance, as if the inveterate instinct of the Jews had discovered therein advantageous business. The matter consists, according to my information, in that a certain number of air officers are contemplating or have already contracted matrimonial engagements with Jewesses.
"I have no wish to meddle with the affairs of the heart or with the tastes of these officers. I would simply draw their attention here-while quoting Point 237 of Part I of the service (Continued on Page 4)
regulations-to the fact that such alliances cannot be considered satisfactory to the well-being of the Air Force or to the future careers of the officers in question. I would also draw their attention to the consequences attendant upon their actions.
The Royal Air Force, which I have the honor to command, must, in order to preserve its efficiency and its utility to the State, be in the first place, absolutely national in character and in no way extra-national. Officers bound by relationship ties and especially by marriage ties to extra-national elements lose the character of national officers. One is reminded of the proverbs ‘birds of a feather flock together,’ and ‘blood is thicker than water.’ The Jews and other extra-national elements of our State may possibly be good and loyal citizens, but they can never become pillars of the State. No doubt they have no such pretensions nor does one demand such of them.
"The Air Force controlled by Jewish influences would no longer possess that national character desired and on which the country could count at such times as its existence might become threatened. Suffice it to imagine what would become of our Air Force were the majority of the corps of officers to have contracted matrimonial alliances with Jewish or other extra-national elements.
"In placing those considerations before the notice of all the officers of the Royal Air Force. I invite them to carefully consider the matter and to reflect well on their contemplated steps, on their preparations, their engagements and their marriages, so long as they remain in the service and are not there fore free agents. Every officer should know in advance the consequences of his contemplated actions. The first consequence which awaits him is exclusion from the ranks of the Air Force and removal to another arm of the forces, conditional upon retention in active service. Every officer should know that the security of the State and the safety of the people is his primary duty and without entire confidence in the Air Force and its personnel this security becomes jeopardized.
"The respective chiefs will hold to the strict execution of this order which must be brought to the notice of all officers for their signature.
"The General Commanding
Rad S. Stanoilovitch."
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.