Lithuania compensates Jews for Nazi, Soviet era losses

June 21, 2011 14:52

VILNIUS - Lithuania's parliament on Tuesday passed a long-awaited bill to compensate the Jewish community for communal property taken during the Nazi and Soviet occupations of the country.

The United States and world Jewish organizations have long called on the Lithuanian government to reach a settlement, though some property has already been returned.

"With this bill we demonstrate good will and an understanding of the tragedy the Jewish community suffered during the Holocaust," Lithuania Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius told public radio.

More than 90 percent of Lithuania's 220,000-strong Jewish community were wiped out during the Holocaust.

Under the bill, which still has to be signed into the law by the president, the government would pay 125 million litas ($51.93 million) between 2013 and 2023 to a special fund. A further 3 million litas would be paid directly to Holocaust survivors in 2012.

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