On September 11, Rodney Freedman, a film producer and director from Sydney, Australia, visited the Good Will Foundation. The purpose of the visit was not only to tell about the roots of the Lemchen family in Zagare and the documentary film ” Uncle Chatzkel” made in 2000, but also to consult about the program implemented by the Good Will Foundation, according to which Lithuanian Holocaust survivors or their heirs can apply for compensation for illegally expropriated immovable private property in Lithuania.
During the meeting, Rodney Freedman told about his great-grandparents Abraham and Rachel Lemchen, who lived in Zagare before the Second World War. They were local businessmen and had their own wool carding, dyeing and weaving workshops at Vilniaus Street 7. They were murdered in Zagare in October 1941.
Rodney Freedman’s uncle Chatzkel Lemchen, a linguist and student of Prof. Jonas Jablonskis, did not escape the atrocities of the war either. During the Holocaust, he and his family ended up in the Kaunas ghetto, where he lost both of his sons. After the abolition of the ghetto, Chatzkel was sent to the Dachau concentration camps, from where he returned to Vilnius after the war and met his seriously ill wife Ela again. You can see all this and more in Rodney Freedman’s 2000 documentary “Uncle Chatzkel”: https://vimeo.com/98849863
The Good Will Foundation kindly reminds that applications for compensation program can be submitted until December 31, 2023.
All information and the application form can be found at: https://gvf.lt/en/payments/
Photo © Rodney Freedman
From left to right: GWF director Indrė Rutkauskaitė, film producer and director Rodney Freedman, assistant to the GWF director Marija Navickaitė.