Jerzy Kluger

Jerzy Kluger

January 16, 2012

Jerzy Kluger, known as Blessed John Paul II's lifelong Jewish friend and one who had a deep impact on the pope's commitment to improved Catholic-Jewish relations, died in Rome Dec. 31 at the age of 90.

Kluger and the pope were raised in Wadowice, Poland, and attended elementary school there together.

Most of Kluger's family died during the Holocaust, but he managed to survive, eventually settling in Rome.

During the Second Vatican Council, the future pope and Kluger were reunited and they maintained their friendship through the years.