Petition Closed
Petitioning Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis and 1 other

Repeal Lithuanian law No. IX - 1078 dated September 17, 2002

143
Supporters

Lithuania's restitution law is an empty gesture -- depriving justice to the vast majority of Holocaust survivors who, for obvious reasons, prefer not to reside in Lithuania. The law is a "Catch-22" and has been widely criticized as an affront to the memory of the Holocaust and its few survivors; an act of lingering anti-Semitism of the Lithuanian Government. 

Individuals applying for Lithuanian citizenship must renounce their citizenship in any other country.

Letter to
Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis
Hannah Rosenthal
I just signed the following petition addressed to:

The Lithuanian Government.

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Repeal Lithuanian law No. IX - 1078 dated September 17, 2002

Individuals applying for Lithuanian citizenship must renounce their citizenship in any other country.

10,000 Signatures represent the10,000 Jews that were massacred on October 28,1941 in Kaunas, Lithuania.
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In 1930, Josef Malnik, my grandfather, built two apartment buildings in Kaunas, Lithuania. My father, Abe Malnik, (now deceased), grew up in these buildings along with his parents, Aunts and cousins before they were forcibly removed by the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) and ordered to live in a fenced-off Jewish ghetto in Kaunas. It was during that time their property was illegally seized. The Malnik family along with ten-thousand Jews, were massacred in Kaunas on October 28, 1941. Fourteen year old Abe Malnik, along with his parents, escaped the massacre. During this period the families properties were seized by the Nazi-controlled government, after the war the properties were nationalized by the communists.

I've located and documented title, tax and other property records in Lithuania demonstrating, without any doubt, actual prior ownership of the property by the Malnik family, including certified documents obtained from the land registar. Efforts made by my father and now made by me to obtain property restitution for the purpose of donating the property to the community in Kaunas have been foreclosed by law.

The deadline to apply for property restitution was arbitrarily set at December 2001. According to the Jewish property restitution law in Lithuania, Pre-war property rights may be claimed only by current citizens of Lithuania. Only Lithuanian citizens have access to Lithuanian courts to file a restitution claim. Claimants may not have dual citizenship with any other country (Lithuanian law No. IX-1078, dated Sept. 17, 2002) a person applying for citizenship must renounce citizenship in any other country. As a result Lithuania property restitution law is an empty gesture. This "Catch-22" is an affront to the memory of the Holocaust and it's few survivors and an act of lingering anti-Semitism of the Lithuanian government.

The U. S. Department of State International Freedom Report discusses the Lithuanian continued efforts to support post World War II restitution efforts. Unfortunately, those efforts have proven meaningless to the vast majority of potential claimants.

Sincerely,

Evan Malnik