ROME (Jul. 1)
Work is progressing on the interfaith prayer and education center under construction near the site of the former Auschwitz concentration camp, according to a Jewish official who recently visited there.
It should be ready next year to house the Carmelite nuns who presently occupy a convent on the camp grounds, according to Stanislaw Krajewski, Polish representative of the American Jewish Congress.
“It is progressing, the workers are there and the foundations have been built. It should be finished by next year,” he said in a telephone interview from Warsaw.
The convent within the perimeter of the death camp, where nearly a million Jews perished during World War II, has been a source of deep controversy between world Jewry and the Catholic Church for several years.
The long-delayed work on the proposed interfaith center began late last year.
Krajewski visited the site with other members of an international committee studying how to reorganize the Auschwitz museum.
He said the committee agreed that the statement of the museum’s purpose would be changed to “the commemoration of the martyrdom of Jews, Poles, Gypsies and others.”
At present it commemorates “the martyrdom of the Polish nation and other nations.”