Synagogue in Kaunas (archives)
Photo: Yoav Freidman

Lithuania eyes compensation for Jewish assets

Justice Minister Remigijus Simasius says plan to pay $52.44 million in compensation for Jewish 'religious communal' property seized by Nazi, Soviet regimes 'moral and political'

A plan to provide compensation for Jewish communal property seized by the Nazi and Soviet regimes in Lithuania was debated on Thursday for the first time in parliament.


"It's a moral and a political, as well as a legal compensation act," Justice Minister Remigijus Simasius told the legislative body.


A final vote will be taken in December.


About 90% of the more than 200,000 Jews living in Lithuana during World War II were killed during the Holocaust and only a few thousand remain in the Baltic state.


World Jewish organizations have long campaigned for Lithuania to address the communal property issue.


The government has proposed paying 128 million litas ($52.44 million) for Jewish "religious communal" property to include buildings used for education and cultural purposes.


Some synagogue buildings have been returned on a like for like basis previously.


The compensation would be paid over a period lasting until 2023 from an assigned fund which could be used only to finance Jewish cultural, religious, educational needs and charity.


Some 3 million litas out of the total would be paid as a support to Holocaust survivors by March of next year.


The Lithuanian Jewish Community, which is the country's largest Jewish organization and earlier had welcomed the government's efforts to draw the bill, was not immediately available for comment.


Some religious communities have protested against the bill.



פרסום ראשון: 11.08.10, 08:23
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