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Letters from John Paul II

February 18, 2009|Associated Press

A Polish survivor of a Nazi concentration camp published a book Tuesday recollecting her family's relationship and vacations with Pope John Paul II, including letters from the late pontiff.

Wanda Poltawska, an 87-year-old psychiatrist, said the relationship started in the 1950s when she sought out a priest for spiritual support so she could overcome the trauma she suffered during almost four years at the Ravensbrueck concentration camp.

That priest was Karol Wojtyla, who was elected pope in 1978.

Poltawska's 570-page book, "The Beskidy Mountains Recollections," recalls vacations with Wojtyla and includes letters of spiritual guidance he exchanged with her and her family -- a correspondence that continued after he became pope.

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