Statement on the passing of the “Good Will Compensation Act”
The United States Government welcomes the passing of the Good Will Compensation Act in the Seimas and commends the Lithuanian government’s determination to address longstanding issues of restitution for the Lithuanian Jewish community devastated during the Holocaust. The legislation will also allocate additional resources for the restoration, preservation, and financing of the Lithuanian Jewish community’s cultural and historical heritage.
“The passing of this legislation is an important step in recognizing the tragedy of the Holocaust in Lithuania. It is not, however, only about addressing claims for the past. It is about preserving the memory of the Holocaust for future generations and working together against intolerance and hatred,” said United States Ambassador to Lithuania Robert Gilchrist.
“After the Holocaust, there was little time to create successful restitution programs before the Communist regimes nationalized private property. By passing this bill, Lithuania has taken another important step in fulfilling restitution commitments. For survivors and their families, this is a direct acknowledgement of the great wrong that was done to them,” said U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, Ellen Germain.
It is United States policy to return Holocaust-era assets to their rightful owners, secure compensation for Nazi-era wrongs, and ensure that the Holocaust is remembered and commemorated appropriately. The U.S. Embassy in Vilnius actively supports efforts to strengthen historical memory in Lithuania, including Holocaust education programs in local schools. Both the United States and Lithuania are members of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which unites us in supporting Holocaust education and remembrance and combating antisemitism in all its forms.