serve for all Jewish organisations, both old and young.”
Thadeus Jakubowicz, 69, president of the Krakow Jewish community since 1997, said: “When this started, I was pessimistic because so many people had asked the same question. When World Jewish Relief became involved, I began to realise this might happen. Now it has been built, it is a dream come true.”
Karina Wroblewsqa, 59, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, said: “My mother is 90 and was not well enough to come, so Prince Charles said to give her his best wishes. He was so nice.”
The 85-year-old Leopold Kozlowski, a composer and conductor of klezmer music and a Krakow ghetto survivor, found himself talking music with the Prince. “He wanted to dance with me,” said the octogenarian.
Andres Spokoiny of the American Joint Distribution Committee, which will help run the centre, said: “He was very pleased that other people were partners in running the centre. He also said that when he wants something, he never takes no for an answer.”
Allen Haberberg runs the Hotel Eton in the town. “I told the Prince that my grandfather was on the last Kindertransport to England. So I am here now because of what his grandfather did to allow them to enter in 1939,” he said. His daughter Natalia, eight, presented Camilla with a bouquet.
Argentinian Mendel Freedman was one of four Lubavitch students who engaged the Prince for several minutes. “He was asking a number of questions, some about the March for the Living.”
Deputy Israeli ambassador to Poland Yossi Levy said: “I thanked him from the depths of my heart for building bridges between Britons, Poles, Israelis and Jews. I said it was Israel’s 60th birthday and he said it was his, too.
“He said he had two relatives buried there [in Israel] and had never been, but that he would like to visit soon.”
WJR donor Cyril Dennis said: “He was talking about how important it was to help communities and how he was involved in trying to regenerate older communities in England.
“He also talked about green (environmentally friendly) cars.” His wife, Hilary, chatted with Camilla: “She was absolutely charming and said this was her first visit to Poland.”
American-born Jessica Bayner, meanwhile, tried to converse in Welsh. “I know some phrases such as ‘welcome’ and ‘my name is Jessica’ but then he answered in Welsh and I didn’t know what he was talking about,” she laughed.
As the couple departed in a minimotorcade, WJR chairman Nigel Layton declared: “This has been a wonderful day for all of us. But without the Prince, it would not have happened.”
Rabbi Edgar Gluck, chief rabbi of Galicia ( left), and Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich ( centre), tell Prince Charles about the importance of mezuzah-fixing. The Prince seized the hammer after the event