Shorts: World

Pope’s home becomes Shoah memorial

warsaw (jta) | Part of Pope John Paul II’s childhood home is being turned into a Holocaust memorial.

Ron Balamuth, who inherited the property from his grandparents who were killed in a Nazi death camp, sold the house in Wadowice, Poland, on the condition that part of it be used for a memorial to the Jews killed during World War II.

The parents of the future pope, then known as Karol Wojtyla, rented two rooms of the house’s top floor from Balamuth’s grandparents.

Auschwitz was German, Poland says

warsaw (jta) | Poland wants UNESCO to change the way it describes Auschwitz to emphasize that Nazis, not Poles, ran the death camp.

Poland’s culture minister asked the United Nations to change the designation from “Auschwitz Concentration Camp” to “Former Nazi German Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.”

Poles want future generations to understand that the death camps were the work of Germans, not Poles, Culture Minister Jan Kasprzyk said.

South Africa recognizes Hamas

johannesburg (jta) | The leader of South Africa said he unconditionally recognizes the legitimacy of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

South African President Thabo Mbeki met last week in Cape Town with authority President Mahmoud Abbas and pledged that South Africa would continue to offer the Palestinian Authority assistance although it’s now governed by Hamas.

Mbeki said his government offered a Hamas-led authority “unconditional acceptance,” but urged the group to recognize Israel.

Canada cuts off P.A.

toronto (jta) | Canada halted aid to the Palestinian Authority until the new Hamas-led government renounces terrorism and recognizes Israel.

The Israeli Embassy in Ottawa applauded the move, which made Canada the first donor country to halt aid to the Palestinians. Canada provides some $21.5 million to the Palestinian Authority each year.

Jewish radio station OK’d in Montreal

montreal (jta) | A Montreal Jewish radio station received approval to operate.

Radio Shalom, whose motto is “All Jewish, All the Time,” will go on the air, perhaps by June 1, at 1650 AM.

The station will operate 60 percent of the time in French, 30 percent of the time in English and 10 percent of the time in Hebrew.