Nowadays, law office Naumović & Partners as an authorized representative of the Jewish Community of Belgrade has received the first decision of the Agency for Restitution by which the property of Žiga Štern which is located in Prizrenska Street in Belgrade is returned and given to the ownership of the Jewish Community of Belgrade.
The Štern family was taken to a concentration camp in Banjica during World War II and then executed in Auschwitz. Over the past seventy years, their property was used by the Republic of Serbia.
Law on Eliminating the Consequences of Seizure of property of Holocaust Victims Without Living Legal Successors is a unique law in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. It was adopted in order to slightly mitigate the effects of the Holocaust and the martyrdom of members of the Jewish community in the Republic of Serbia.
This Law, drafted with participation of representatives of Jewish Communities, the Union of Jewish Municipalities of Serbia and the World Jewish Restitution Organization in Washington, is a great success of the Republic of Serbia, that by its adoption has shown deep sympathy of Serbian people and representatives of the Serbian authorities towards the great sacrifices of the Jewish people during World War II.
Otherwise, all the seized property is now, in most cases, the property of the Republic of Serbia or individual units of local government, state or public enterprises.
Although, fortunately, the state has not participated in the persecution of the Jewish people, Serbia must not have an interest in the result of the Holocaust, which is the ethical and moral purpose of the aforementioned Law.
In this regard, we hope that this Law of Republic of Serbia will be beacon and an example to other countries in this part of Europe.
Law Office Naumović and Partners, which represents the Jewish Community of Belgrade in the procedures of restitution under this Law, welcomes the adoption of the first decisions of the Agency for restitution of the Republic of Serbia.
Also, it is our great pleasure to be a part of this historical moment that will undoubtedly be remembered as particularly important for the Serbian legal history. We believe that the first decision on restitution is only the beginning of work on regaining and unifying the property of members of the Jewish community that have been victims of the dark times of the Holocaust in our region.
Finally we point out that the said Law and its implementation is in the moral, ethical and legal terms much more significant for the Republic of Serbia and all of its citizens than in the material sense for the local Jewish community.