Auschwitz Peace Project Day One:

12/14/16

Peace & Blessings All,

Yesterday I flew from San Francisco California to Krak√≥w Poland to lay the groundwork for an international peace center at Auschwitz. I was picked up by my colleagues, Dr. Nina Meyerhof of Vermont and Bishop Domen Kocevar from Slovenia. We drove on to the city of Oswiecim and I 
went straight to the Death Camps. There are two here. Auschwitz & Birkenau. I walked both camps for about four hours at 30 degrees F. without getting a chance to change into my cold weather clothes. While this was uncomfortable to say the least, it gave me a good sense of why so many people died at the camps at the camps by exposure!

In any case, after leaving the camps, I went to a meeting with the Director of the Jewish Museum and then made a general tour of the area and proposed site for another hour and a half. Then I finally reached my hotel to take an hour break. Following that, I attended a dinner meeting with additional stakeholders from Poland and Romania and finally called it a day after 30 hours!

We start again early tomorrow with a full day of meetings, project proposals, and relationship building.

Creating a peace center at Auschwitz requires a buy in from many different entities and officials, and this trip is mostly about making those connections.

We will also be conducting a peace training and groundbreaking event on December 16th.

The camps themselves are amazing in that you can literally feel the horror that took place there and have a real sense of how far off people can get if checks and balances and peace education are not put in place. And of course these concerns are now heightened due to political and social movements in Europe and the United States and other parts of the world.

I visited the gas chambers and the crematoriums, and the "Walk of Death" platform, where Jews and others arriving in railroad cars were "selected" to be either immediately executed and burned, and where children were "selected" to be used for medical experiments or simply
exterminated. Very gruesome stuff.

I've included a few photos to give you a sense of what's there.

Visiting the camps has heightened even more my resolve to promote a new Meta-Narrative for the planet. A narrative promoting peace and the acceptance of diversity and the sacredness of every human being!

May Peace Prevail On Earth!
Patrick McCollum