The Goodwill Foundation is planning to disburse from 5 to 10 million euros to those who lost personal property during the Holocaust and their heirs and who meet specific criteria.
Those who survived the Holocaust in Lithuania and their heirs are eligible to make application until December 30, 2023. Compensation is planned to be paid by July 1, 2025.
No claims can be made for plots of land, but applications made by those seeking recompense for commercial buildings, residential homes and apartments will be considered seriously.
Those eligible to apply include Jewish property owners who lived in Lithuania until May 8, 1945, and whose property was seized by the Nazis or Soviets from June 15, 1940, until March 10, 1990, and who didn’t have an opportunity to receive their property and get compensation for it because they weren’t Lithuanian citizens from June 18, 1991, until December 31, 2001. Inheritors eligible for compensation are widows or widowers of former Jewish property owners, parents or children of such, and in the event they are dead, then grandchildren or spouses of grandchildren. Those left property in last wills and testaments are also eligible, as are their widows or widowers, parents, children, grandchildren or spouses of grandchildren.
Co-chair of the Goodwill Foundation and director of international Jewish affairs at the American Jewish Committee Rabbi Andrew Baker said the symbolic compensation from the Lithuanian state was intended to honor the memory of Holocaust victims and go towards remedying the unprecedented theft of their property during the Holocaust in Lithuania.
Co-chair of the Goodwill Foundation and chairwoman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community Faina Kukliansky commented: “It is our moral duty to continue helping elderly Holocaust survivors in Lithuania, and according to this new program to provide compensation to those whose property was seized illegally and illicitly. We strongly recommend everyone who thinks they might meet the program’s criteria to make an application. Of course the Goodwill Foundation will attempt to insure as quickly as possible that this kind of justice which they so deserve come to Holocaust survivors and their families.”
The Goodwill Foundation has made the application process available on the internet in English, see here.
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