Heirs of Serbia’s WW2 Leader Seek Return of Property

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, June 26, 2012
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As the descendants of Milan Nedic, leader of a Nazi-backed puppet government, request restitution of his property, historians remain split over his role in history.Descendents of Milan Nedic, leader of a Nazi-backed puppet government in Serbia during World War II, have filed a claim to the Serbian agency for the restitution of property.

They seek the return of a building in downtown Belgrade as well as a land in the Belgrade suburbs of Zemun and Grocka.

Aleksandar Nedic, a great-grandson of Milan Nedic, said that he had been trying to obtain legal right of inheritance since 2007.“The building in Nemanjina Street [central Belgrade] was built in the 1930s, long before the Second World War, while Zemun Park was inherited from parents and the site in Grocka is where he was born,” Nedic explained.

Nedic said he had not heard back from the Interior or Justice ministries after addressing them on the issue.

In September 2011, as part of list of EU “must-do” laws, Belgrade adopted a law on the restitution of property nationalised between the Communist takeover in 1945 and 1968, or payment of equivalent compensation.”The building in Nemanjina Street [central Belgrade] was built in the 1930s, long before the Second World War, while Zemun Park was inherited from parents and the site in Grocka is where he was born,” Nedic explained.

Nedic said he had not heard back from the Interior or Justice ministries after addressing them on the issue.

In September 2011, as part of list of EU “must-do” laws, Belgrade adopted a law on the restitution of property nationalised between the Communist takeover in 1945 and 1968, or payment of equivalent compensation.Historians are divided on Milan Nedic’s role and on whether his descendents have the moral and legal right to claim his inheritance.

Bojan Dimitrijevic, author of the book entitled “The Army of Nedic’s Serbia”, says Nedic’s descendants have every right to reclaim his property.

“People today do not understand that he sacrificed himself to accept this [PM's] position in order to prevent German reprisals, which were carried out in retaliation for the uprising in Serbia,” Dimitrijevic said.

On the other hand, the historian Predrag Markovic believes that Nedic’s name cannot be rehabilitated.

“General Nedic cannot be rehabilitated because he was undoubtedly a collaborator with the occupation forces,” Markovic said.

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