LITHUANIA - $40 Million for Holocaust Survivors

Arno Froese

Lithuania’s prime minister made what one Jewish organization called an “important step” by introducing legislation to allocate more than $38 million as restitution for Holocaust survivors and their heirs. 

“Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė’s proposal is an important step to providing a measure of justice to Lithuanian Holocaust survivors and their families for the horrors they suffered during World War II and its aftermath,” the World Jewish Restitution Organization said in a statement. “We look forward to the opportunity to review this new legislation that would continue the process of property restitution and support Jewish life in Lithuania.”

The Lithuanian government has previously acted before to compensate Holocaust victims. Over a decade ago, the parliament passed legislation to allocate 36 million Euros, then worth about $72 million, for a Good Will Foundation that funds projects to benefit the country’s Jewish population. The money was considered restitution for communal property seized from Lithuania’s Jewish community under the Nazi occupation.

“This payment represented only partial value of the properties,” the WJRO explained. However, “it provided much needed funds to support Jewish communal life in Lithuania, restored several Jewish heritage sites, and offered modest payments to needy survivors.” 

-www.jta.org, 2 December 2022

Arno's Commentary

This relatively small Baltic country, populated by only 2.7 million people, has registered phenomenal growth after breaking off from the Soviet Union. They joined the WTO in May 2001 and became a member of the European Union in 2004. In January 2015, they adopted the euro. The per-capita GDP has reached $37,100 (2019).

The fact that Lithuania faces its past is to be commended, and so is the WJRO (World Jewish Restitution Organization), who documented that over 90% of Lithuania’s Jews were annihilated during the Nazi era. What is particularly significant is the apparent willingness by the government to restore a significant amount of value lost during the war by its Jewish population. One must also keep in mind that the atrocities, according to WJRO research, took place between 1941 and 1944; that is over 80 years ago.

Thus, the question arises: will other nations compensate the original inhabitants of their land, such as America’s native Indians or Australia’s Aboriginals? The answer is probably no, because documentation is somewhat lacking, and the natives of those countries had little to no capacity to record facts and figures. 

Now our question: when will unrighteousness cease? Here the Bible gives the answer: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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