A mile from Auschwitz, a restored synagogue recalls thriving Jewish life in Oswiecim

OSWIECIM, Poland (JTA) — In a typical, pre-pandemic year, about 2.3 million people a year visit Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi death camp where nearly 1 million Jews were murdered.

About 30,000 — or roughly 1% — of them also visit a nearby museum that represents the last vestige of how Jews in the area once lived.

The Auschwitz Jewish Center opened in 2000 in Oswiecim, the sleepy town less than a mile from  the notorious concentration camp. It includes a museum with thousands of artifacts, a small café that also functions as a community center and a synagogue that is the only one remaining from Oswiecim’s Jewish heyday.

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