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Friday, July 31, 2015

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Lithuanian Jews to get compensation for Holocaust, Soviet occupation

Tags: International
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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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