US Officials Urge Lithuania to Return Jewish Property

Vilnius, November 8, BNS–US officials and the Lithuanian Jewish Community are calling upon the Lithuanian Government to return private property to Holocaust survivors and their descendants, the daily Lietuvos Rytas reported Wednesday.

“The issue of restitution of private Jewish property has been raised in the past, but it is being increasingly discussed lately,” Deividas Matulionis, foreign policy adviser to prime minister Saulius Skvernelis, told the paper.

Matulionis recently discussed the issue with US State Department special envoy for Holocaust issues Thomas Yazdgerdi in Vilnius. The Lithuanian prime minister’s advisor told Lietuvos Rytas they hadn’t discussed any specific measures for restitution or numbers.

Matulionis said they talked about possibly compensating Jews for a portion of the value of their property and said that would be more of a symbolic gesture.

Six years ago Lithuania committed to paying 37 million euros compensation for Jewish religious communal property by 2023.