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April 23, 1991 | Encyclopedia of Jewish History
Although the first Jews reached Poland from the east, it was emigres from Bohemia and Germany in the Middle Ages who had the greatest impact on the way of life for Polish Jewry. During the same 13th- to- 15th-Century period when Jews were being expelled from virtually all of Western Europe, Poland's rulers, seeking to develop their urban economy, welcomed Jewish and other townspeople, particularly from Germany, and granted them various privileges.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 2003 | Mike Anton, Times Staff Writer
Irene Gut Opdyke, who risked her life in World War II by hiding Jews in a cellar beneath a German major's villa -- a story of courage that decades later would make her an internationally known speaker -- has died. She was 85. Opdyke was 25 and working as the major's housekeeper when, in 1943, she overheard that the Gestapo was about to sweep through a local Jewish ghetto in Poland.
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NEWS
November 29, 1988
An Argentine federal judge approved the extradition to West Germany of Josef Schwammberger, a former Nazi officer accused of responsibility for the murder of thousands of Jews in Poland during World War II. Judge Vicente Bretal said he turned down Schwammberger's request to be tried in Buenos Aires because the alleged crimes had taken place before the 76-year-old Austrian was naturalized as an Argentine citizen in 1965.
NEWS
July 11, 2001 | DAVID HOLLEY and ELA KASPRZYCKA, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In a somber ceremony held under rainy skies and presided over by Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, mourners Tuesday honored the memory of hundreds of Jews massacred by their neighbors here 60 years ago during Nazi German occupation of this rural town. "For this crime, we should beg the souls of the dead and their families for forgiveness," Kwasniewski said. "As a citizen and as the president of the Republic of Poland . . .
NEWS
July 16, 1989 | From Reuters
Poland's government newspaper Saturday described a protest by a group of Jews against a Roman Catholic convent at the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz as an "organized provocation" that terrified the convent's nuns. The newspaper Rzeczpospolita did not report that the seven American Jewish protesters, led by Rabbi Avraham Weiss of New York, were attacked and dragged away Friday by six Polish workers as police, priests and residents looked on.
NEWS
February 27, 1997 | DEAN E. MURPHY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A fire set by arsonists ripped through the vestibule of the Polish capital's only active Jewish synagogue Wednesday, touching off a wave of fear and outrage in a country haunted by a history of troubled relations with Jews. The early morning blaze was so intense that it sucked the vaulted ceiling in the entry clean of plaster and reduced the temple's massive oak doors to crumbling sticks of charcoal.
NEWS
April 26, 2000 | DAVID HOLLEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Leslaw Piszewski was 16 when he started "suspecting something" about his family, but for years he couldn't figure out what it was. "There were too many secrets," he recalled. "I started asking questions and did not get answers." The urge to know the truth grew when he was 23 and his daughter was born. "I thought, I must tell my child who I am, who my parents are, who my grandparents are and where we come from," he explained.
NEWS
August 30, 1989 | CHARLES T. POWERS, Times Staff Writer
The marker stands, like a gravestone, on the corner of a grimy back street lined with auto repair yards and machine shops. Its inscription says that on this spot, in August, 1944, 150 Poles were killed fighting "soldiers of Hitler's army." The marker is half hidden by the drooping limbs of a maple tree, and weeds tangle along the sidewalk in either direction. It is easy to walk by without noticing.
NEWS
June 22, 1987 | STANLEY MEISLER, Times Staff Writer
A tour of the Nazis' old Auschwitz concentration camp here helps explain why the relatives and descendants of its victims are quarreling almost half a century later. What happened here is almost too hard to fathom, too hard to bear, and it is easy to fall into aimless rage. A controversy has erupted over a Roman Catholic convent at the edge of the camp. Many visitors barely notice the large, unmarked brick building along the barbed-wire outer edge of what is known as Auschwitz I.
NEWS
May 16, 1987 | STANLEY MEISLER, Times Staff Writer
Matilda Kadyuschewic Meisler, my grandmother, died here in 1921, but it is impossible to find her grave now. The Jewish cemeteries of this little crossroads town on the Norzec River in the farmlands of northeast Poland are not empty, but they have no tombstones. Stanislaw Krynski, the 30-year-old director of the local museum, has assembled a dozen or so Jewish tombstones neatly and prominently on the lawn alongside his museum, a former palace of the nobility.
NEWS
June 6, 2001 | From Associated Press
Spent ammunition of the type used by Nazi soldiers was found during the exhumation of a mass grave of Jews massacred by their Polish neighbors in 1941, investigators said Tuesday. They said the type and position of the bullets and shells could indicate that Nazis fired at Jews trying to flee a burning barn where hundreds perished. But they emphasized that it would take more forensic work to draw any conclusions about who did the shooting.
NEWS
June 5, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Investigators in Poland completed a partial exhumation of a mass grave of Jews killed by Poles in 1941, the prosecutor supervising the operation said. The exhumation, in the northeastern town of Jedwabne, began last week as part of a government probe launched after a book described how Poles, not Nazi troops, killed as many as 1,600 Jews there.
NEWS
May 12, 2001 | From Associated Press
Poland's government has reached an agreement with a farmer to buy a plot of land for a memorial to Jews massacred by their Polish neighbors in the town of Jedwabne in 1941, a local official said Friday. Tomasz Surynowicz, spokesman for the governor of Podlaskie province in northeastern Poland, said the farmer signed the agreement Thursday after weeks of haggling.
NEWS
April 5, 2001 | DAVID HOLLEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For decades, a simple stone memorial outside this rural town somberly declared: "Site of a massacre of the Jewish population. The Gestapo and Nazi military police burned 1,600 people alive on July 10, 1941." Last month, government officials took away the stone. For Jedwabne's Jews, according to emerging accounts, were slaughtered that day not by the Germans but by their neighbors.
NEWS
April 26, 2000 | DAVID HOLLEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Leslaw Piszewski was 16 when he started "suspecting something" about his family, but for years he couldn't figure out what it was. "There were too many secrets," he recalled. "I started asking questions and did not get answers." The urge to know the truth grew when he was 23 and his daughter was born. "I thought, I must tell my child who I am, who my parents are, who my grandparents are and where we come from," he explained.
NEWS
March 23, 2000 | TRACY WILKINSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The last time Yosef Bienenstock saw his old childhood friend Karol Wojtyla, war loomed over their Polish homeland. It was the late 1930s, and Karol had come home to Wadowice during a break in his studies. A few months later, Yosef was arrested and shipped from one Nazi concentration camp to another. Of his 12-member immediate family, only Yosef and a sister survived. Karol went on to become Pope John Paul II.
NEWS
March 17, 1998 | ABIGAIL GOLDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Felicia Haberfeld, an 86-year-old woman living in the Fairfax district, wants to share her memories of a grand life in the small Polish city where she and her husband lived before World War II. She dreams of restoring her late husband's decaying 40-room ancestral home--claimed as war spoils by the Nazis and the Russians, then nationalized by the Poles. The 19th-century mansion, known as Haberfeld House, is more than just a place for her fond memories.
NEWS
September 18, 1989 | DAN FISHER, Times Staff Writer
Many of the Polish tourists glanced a few yards to their left as they emerged from the "Block of Death" where special prisoners of Auschwitz once awaited execution. There, past the barbed wire and the watchtower, on the other side of a 12-foot concrete wall, they could see the upper floors of a recently refurbished, four-story brick building and, next to it, the top of a large wooden cross.
NEWS
May 29, 1999 | From Associated Press
Troops backed by police and priests removed 300 crosses Friday from a lot bordering the former Auschwitz death camp, in a move intended to end a long-running controversy between Jewish groups and Poland's Roman Catholic Church. The move came eight days before Pope John Paul II is scheduled to begin his eighth pilgrimage to his homeland to stress, among other things, religious tolerance in Poland.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 1999 | Religion News Service
For the first time in at least 40 years, a rabbi has been hired by the Jewish community in Warsaw to serve as its spiritual leader. Rabbi Baruch Rabinowicz, a modern Orthodox rabbi who was born in Russia, educated in Denmark and attended yeshiva in Israel, will take up his post this month, a community representative said from the Polish capital, describing Rabinowicz as "both Orthodox and open-minded."
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