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Around 1,000 Jews eligible for compensation from Lithuania

Dovydo žvaigždė
AFP/„Scanpix“ nuotr. / Dovydo žvaigždė
Šaltinis: BNS
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All Jews who lived in Lithuania during World War II and fell victim of totalitarian regimes will be eligible for compensation, no matter where they are now, the Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Žinios writes on Thursday.

The Lithuanian government has recently appointed a fund managed by Jewish organizations for the administration of compensation for nationalized assets of Jewish religious communities in Lithuania. And now decisions are being made as to whom to pay the 3 million litas (EUR 0.87 million) assigned for the purpose.

The new fund's director Simas Levinas said that, theoretically, around 1,000 Jews from around the world were eligible to receive compensation.

"We will not be taking into account where they live now – Lithuania, America or any other country. The most important thing is that they lived in Lithuania at that time and fell victims," he said.

According to Levinas, the majority of Jewish victims of totalitarian regimes now live in Lithuania, and also in the Unite States, Israel, and Germany.

Discussions are still ongoing as to whether include an eligibility criterion of Lithuanian citizenship during the war, or perhaps only the fact that they lived here would be enough, Levinas has said.

After the board of the fund approves the procedure for paying the compensation, information about the fact will be spread through global Jewish organizations.

The board will decide on how the compensation will be paid, but in Levinas' opinion, all eligible people should receive equal sums which should be transferred to people's personal bank accounts.

Levinas stresses that it is not the financial but moral meaning of Lithuania's compensation that is the most important thing.

"It's a huge step. I think victims of occupation regimes will feel Lithuania's apology after they receive the compensation," he aid.

The Lithuanian government has not transferred the money to the fund yet. Prime Minister's Chancellor Deividas Matulionis said the 3 million litas would be transferred in several transactions.

Pursuant to the law, a total sum of 128 million litas (EUR 36.5 million) will have to be transferred to the fund over the course of one decade. The money should be spent on Jewish education, religious, scientific, cultural, healthcare and other projects.

BNS
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