Jewish friend of late Pope John Paul II dies - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Jewish friend of late Pope John Paul II dies

ROME (AP) -- Jerzy Kluger, a Polish-born Jew who was a lifetime friend and childhood playmate of the late Pope John Paul II, has died in a clinic near Rome.

Kluger's wife, Irene, told The Associated Press that her husband, who was 90, had died on Dec. 31 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for three years and was buried Monday.

The couple lived in Rome for decades.

Kluger's widow says the pope persuaded her husband to return on occasion to visit Wadowice, the Polish town where they both grew up.

Kluger was one of John Paul's last childhood friends still alive. His widow said Kluger's entire family, except for his father, perished in concentration camps in Poland.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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