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First Lady Visits Auschwitz and Meets with Polish Jews

First lady Hillary Clinton paid an emotional visit this week to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and went to Warsaw to meet with representatives of Poland’s Jewish community.

She was accompanied by the Polish first lady, Jolanta Kwasniewski.

Among the community representatives at the Tuesday meeting were Poland’s chief rabbi, Menachem Joskowicz, Jewish students and Holocaust survivors.

She also was serenaded by 15 pupils from the Jewish kindergarten at the Ronald Lauder Foundation building.

Her visit came one day after officials discovered that more than 60 tombstones in Warsaw’s historical Jewish cemetery were vandalized.

Jewish officials here said the vandalism was not representative of all Polish people, but that Polish people should stand up and condemn this kind of action.

A Polish Cabinet minister, Leszek Miller, did condemn the act.

Jews here were especially concerned that the incident happened on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the pogrom at the nearby town of Kielce.

Forty-two Jews were killed during the 1946 pogrom.

Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel will be among the international figures to participate in the July 7 ceremonies commemorating the pogrom.

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