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Building Near Auschwitz Defaced

June 18, 2001

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ Vandals stuck axes in a picture of Jesus Christ and sprayed anti-Semitic slogans on the walls of a building next to the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz, police said Monday.

The perpetrators appeared to have entered the building through a window, said Robert Chowaniec, spokesman for the police in Oswiecim, where the former camp is located. The building formerly housed a convent of Roman Catholic nuns.

Mieczyslaw Janosz, the uninhabited building’s caretaker, discovered the damage Sunday. He said it appeared have taken place in recent days.

The attackers had stuck two axes in a picture of Christ and wrote some anti-Semitic slogans on the walls, Chowaniec said. They also ripped electric wires, and damaged heating and water installations, he said.

The building is located across the wall from the former camp where Nazis killed more than 1 million Jews during World War II. It served as a convent from 1984-1993.

The nuns moved on orders from the Vatican following protests from Jewish groups around the world, which objected to the location of the convent so close to the former death camp.

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