Jews bicker over fate of Warsaw synagogue

KRAKOW – Poland’s Ministry of Culture will soon decide whether to demolish the historical building of the Jewish community in Warsaw to build a skyscraper in its place. The surprising and unexpected detail in the story is that the request to demolish the building, which stands in the middle of the former Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, came from Jewish leaders.
After World War II, having survived the bombardment by the German army, the white building on 6 Twarda Street in Warsaw, became a symbol of renewed Jewish life in Poland and a meeting place for Holocaust survivors and members of the Polish Jewish community.
At a press conference in 2007, Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich and Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, announced plans to build a skyscraper 208 meters high containing up to 60 floors near the Nozyk Synagogue, in the center of the former Jewish ghetto. This grandiose plan provoked outrage among Jewish organizations and Holocaust survivors around the world who argued that the project would harm the unique character of the ghetto and put the old synagogue, one of the few buildings in Warsaw that survived the Nazi bombings, in its shadow.
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