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Serbia passes Holocaust restitution law

Serbian lawmakers have voted on a bill allowing the restitution of heirless and unclaimed Jewish property expropriated during the Holocaust.

The World Jewish Restitution Organisation said on Friday that Serbia is one of the first countries in Eastern Europe to pass such a bill, which means the property will be returned to the local Jewish community.

Gideon Taylor, WJRO chairman of operations, says "this is a step toward justice and the recognition of history".

He said in a statement "we look to other countries to follow Serbia's lead".

The organisation had actively campaigned for the law to be passed.

Tens of thousands of Jews living in Serbia during the Second World War perished in brutal Nazi-run death camps or were mass deported to the camps outside the country.

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