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Polish Prosecutors Interview Kielce Massacre Witnesses In Israel


Warsaw, July 24 (RFE/RL) -- Two Polish prosecutors have returned from Israel after hearing the testimony of ten witnesses to the Kielce massacre.

The massacre happened July 4, 1946, when 42 Jews were killed in a pogrom in the Polish village of Kielce.

"Poland wants to get to the bottom of the terrible massacre, which occurred 50 years ago," Zbigniew Mielecki, one of the prosecutors, said our Warsaw correspondent reports.

Poland has also asked Moscow to provide documents on the massacre from Soviet archives, but Polish media say Russian authorities have not yet responded.

In a ceremony in the village this month, Poland's Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz asked for forgiveness for the massacre. He expressed deep regret for all wrongs perpetrated by Poles against the Jews.

Among those attending the ceremony was Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, a death camp survivor. Most of the surviving witnesses to the Kielce massacre live in Israel.

All but a few thousand of Poland's three million Jews were exterminated during the war at the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.
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