The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) is launching an international outreach campaign in an effort to notify Lithuanian Jewish property owners and certain heirs who may be eligible to receive symbolic compensation for immovable private property expropriated in Lithuania during the Holocaust and its aftermath. The deadline is December 31, 2023.
“As the deadline for the Compensation for Immovable Private Property in Lithuania program approaches, it is critical that we make every effort to reach potentially eligible individuals for this program, which is historically significant and symbolically important,” said Gideon Taylor, President, World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO). “The program is particularly historic as it is open to survivors as well to certain heirs, and we encourage all those who think they may be eligible to submit an application.”
The Good Will Foundation will administer a one-time payment to eligible Lithuanian Jews or certain heirs and will distribute at total of €5 -10 million to approved applicants. The exact amount to be distributed to each individual can only be determined when the total number of approved applicants has been known.
In February 2023, WJRO alongside the Good Will Foundation announced that Lithuanian Jewish property owners or certain heirs could apply for the Compensation for Immovable Private Property in Lithuania program. This significant step came as a result of the enactment of legislation (Law No. XI-1470, as amended), introduced by Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė in November and signed into law by President Gitanas Nausėda on December 29, 2022.
“The Good Will Foundation is preparing to review all applications it receives and is willing to address any inquiries, offering support in multiple languages. Together, we undertake this meaningful step forward to provide a measure of justice and acknowledgment to Lithuanian Jewish property owners and certain heirs,” said Faina Kukliansky, Chairwoman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community.
“I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to apply for the symbolic compensation program,” said Raja, 58, a second-generation survivor from Toronto, Canada. “It’s a chance to seek justice and honor the legacy of my grandparents, who once owned a lemonade factory and stone houses in Jurbarkas, Lithuania, before it was wrongfully taken from them during the Holocaust.”