The Lithuanian government was held as an example on just and fair compensation for victims of the Holocaust, informs lrv.lt.
The Lithuanian government was held as an example on just and fair compensation for victims of the Holocaust, informs lrv.lt
At the International Conference on the restitution of expropriated Jewish property during the Holocaust “Immovable Property Review Conference 2012: Key Issues and Possible Ways Forward” (IPRC 2012), held in Prague on 26-28 November, where Lithuania was represented by Prime Minister‘s delegated group led by Emanuelis Zingeris, Vice-Chairman of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs, our country on many occasions was singled out as a role model for other countries in the region for its efforts in restoring historical justice, continuing Holocaust education, promoting tolerance and addressing other complex Holocaust-related issues.
The Law on Good Will Compensation for the Property of Jewish Religious Communities, passed by the Seimas, was also commended by Stuart Eisenstat, U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, in his opening speech, as well as by other participants.
Here is what Stuart E. Eisenstat said in his opening speech on 26 November 2012:
“Here I would like to single out Lithuania`s government for praise. Last year Lithuania enacted important communal property compensation legislation, providing compensation to the Jewish community in lieu of restitution, paid out in affordable way over a number of years. Lithuania has also shown a commendable devotion to Holocaust eduain, to building a memorial site to commemorate the horrible massacre outside Vilnius in the forests of Paneriai, and to correcting the historical record by re-establishing its Historical Commission to Investigate the Crimes of the Nazis and Soviets.”, – underlined US Special Envoy.
At the session on restitution of religious and communal property, Emanuelis Zingeris pointed out that the Law of Goodwill was unanimously supported by all the main political parties, therefore, there are no reasons to believe that the current efforts will discontinue in the future.
“Back in 2009, when the 15th Government took part in this conference, it gave a specific promise regarding the commemoration of the Holocaust, and it has truly fulfilled this promise. Not only was the Law on Good Will submitted to the Seimas for consideration and subsequently adopted, but also the year 2011 was declared the year of remembrance for the Holocaust victims, with dozens of events organised in the country. At the end of this year, the Government approved the Paneriai Memorial Development Plan, and transferred funds to be paid to the victims who survived the Holocaust”, Mr. Zingeris said at the conference.
The Immovable Property Review Conference is a follow up conference that took place in Prague in 2009, which discussed the progress of fulfilling obligations undertaken by countries. In 2009, 47 state delegations signed the Terezin declaration that defines key principles for restitution/compensation of property of the Holocaust victims.
The Law on Good Will Compensation for the Immovable Property of Jewish Religious Communities, adopted in Lithuania, provides for LTL 128 million to be paid for the expropriated property of Jewish religious communities to a foundation appointed by the Government for disposing of compensation funds. The funds should be used to promote education, teaching, cultural and religious activities in the Lithuanian Jewish community. A lump sum of LTL 3 million is provided for persons of Jewish ethnicity, who lived in Lithuania during the World War II and suffered from the totalitarian regimes.