Lithuania Offers $622 as 'Symbolic' Holocaust Compensation to Jews

Stipend to 1,800 Survivors Also Covers Soviet Repression

Synagogue Square: The Jews of the Lithuanian town of Keidan, shown here in the 1930s, were known for pounding their chests so hard with pride that they got a ‘hole in the heart.’
Courtesy of Martin Kagan
Synagogue Square: The Jews of the Lithuanian town of Keidan, shown here in the 1930s, were known for pounding their chests so hard with pride that they got a ‘hole in the heart.’

By JTA

Published November 07, 2013.
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Government officials in Lithuania said they would offer symbolic reparations to nearly 1,800 Jewish Holocaust survivors.

The officials told the Baltic News Agency Wednesday that the survivors will receive payments of $622 per person this year. The compensation was also for “suffering during the Soviet occupation,” according to the announcement.

Lithuanian governments have faced criticism by international bodies, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, for drawing parallels between Nazism and communism.

In 2011, the Lithuanian parliament voted to offer Holocaust survivors and the Jewish community compensation for assets seized during the Holocaust.

For this purpose, the government set up a $50 million fund which is intended to support the “religious, cultural and social” needs of Lithuania’s Jewish community.

Lithuania had a Jewish population of 250,000 in 1939 but 95 percent of its Jews were murdered during the Holocaust by Nazi soldiers and Lithuanian collaborators. Today Lithuania has some 5,000 Jews, according to the European Jewish Congress.


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