The Carmelite Convent at Auschwitz

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Wladyslaw Loranc - Polish Minister of Religious Affairs

Polonia       10/11/1987

The Polish authorities have officially approved the agreement made at Geneva on 22nd February 1987 between the representatives of the Catholic Church and Jewish Organisations to transfer the Carmelite convent outside the area of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps and to create outside the camp a centre of information, education, meeting and prayer. This approval is expressed in a warm letter from the Polish Minister of Religious Affairs, Dr. Wladyslaw Loranc, to Dr. Gerhart M. Riegner, Co-Chairman of the World Jewish Congress Governing Board, following the meeting they had in Warsaw on 10th November 1987.
The full text of the letter from the Minister follows.


The Minister, Head of the Department of Religious Affairs
Warsaw, 31st December 1987. Honoured Sir,

In referring to our meeting of 10th November 1987, 1 would once again like to assure you of the positive attitude of the Ministry for Religious Affairs with regard to the project to construct at Oswiecim — outside the area of the camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau — a "Centre of Information, Education, Meeting and Prayer", the scope and aim of this centre having been formulated jointly by representatives of the Catholic Church and of Jewish Organisations in the Declaration adopted and published at the meeting in Geneva on 22nd February 1987.

We hope that the realisation of this initiative will bring to a definitive end the differences between the Catholic Church and the Jewish Organisations about places of worship in the area of the camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

This Centre will promote a climate of meditation and of profound respect for all the victims of the Hitlerian extermination and their sufferings, of which Oswiecim will always be the symbol. From the beginning of the liberation, the point of view of the Government of the People's Republic of Poland has always been and will always remain the same.

I know that an exchange of views has taken place between the representatives of the Archdiocese of Cracow and those of the Woyevodie of Bielski-Biala about the Centre of information, education, meeting and prayer at Oswiecim. The possible sites for the centre have been examined. A definitive choice will be made between three sites which have been reserved.

According to my information the authorities of the Woyevodie are ready to take the necessary decisions immediately after being informed of the final plans for the organisation and funding of the Centre.

Please accept the assurance of my concern as well as my greetings
Dr. Wladyslaw Loranc Dr. Gerhart M. !Riegner,
Co-Chairman of the World Jewish Congress Governing Board, Geneva,

Copy to
His Eminence Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, Archbishop of Cracow.

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Inserito 01/01/1970