February 12, 2016
The United States welcomes the Serbian Parliament’s passage of an heirless property restitution law on February 12.
With passage, Serbia became the first European country to pass a Holocaust heirless restitution law since the 2009 U.S.-sponsored Terezin Declaration. The law, which mandates restitution for heirless property of Holocaust victims, is considered the final element of a comprehensive legal framework to address property seized from Holocaust victims. The law will provide Serbia’s Jewish community 950,000 Euro annually for the next 25 years from January 2017 in addition to in-kind property restitution. Serbia’s partnership with the Serbian Jewish community, the United States, Israel and other governments and international NGOs including the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), was essential to this success.
The United States looks forward to expeditious implementation of the law and to similar decisive and timely action by other European governments where justice has long been denied.