Project highlights Jewish history of Oswiecim

(JTA) — A new multimedia project has been launched to highlight the long Jewish history of Oswiecim, the former shtetl in southern Poland where the Nazis built the Auschwitz death camp.

The project, launched this week, is called "Oshpitzin," the Yiddish name for the town, and centers on a website.

Though notorious as the site of the Auschwitz camp, Oswiecim had a majority Jewish population before World War II.

The project includes an interactive map of synagogues, businesses and other prewar Jewish sites, plus films, photographs, articles, memoirs, interviews and other educational material on its Jewish history.

The site is a project of the Auschwitz Jewish Center, a facility opened in 2000 that is located in the complex, including the one surviving synagogue in Oswiecim. It hosts a Jewish museum and education programs. The center is an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York.

Funding for the Oshpitzin project came from the Dutch Humanitarian Fund.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government on Sunday allocated about $7.3 million toward the renovation of Block 27 in Auschwitz, which was the Jewish block in the camp. The renovation is scheduled to begin in the coming days.
 

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