Auschwitz is Transformed into a "City of Peace"
December 16, 2016
World War II was a major horror in our history causing more than 60 million deaths eliminating more than .3% of the world’s population. Now in the little town of Oswiecim, housing 41,000 inhabitants, who live directly next to the Death Camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, there is a desire to transform its reputation. One million bodies have been burned there and ashes have been dumped everywhere, even into the local swimming lake. The stench of these ashes remains in the atmosphere and some of the town’s areas can be considered one giant cemetery.
Visitors come daily to visit the horrific historic site that has been maintained exactly as it was to remind people NEVER AGAIN. People enter the Camp, tour the site and leave it deeply impressed yet with a hanging sense of despair. They then, most often, leave the town as fast as possible. It is not a place where people wish to stay for long.
On the other hand, Auschwitz has been the world’s pressure point for the formulation of the United Nations, the state of Israel and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Oswiecim has been officially appointed a UN Peace Messenger “City of Peace” and the Mayor continues to build this concept. Today, the people of this town are choosing a different future while continuing to honor their past. The Mayor, the school Rector, and other Oswiecim officials, are now focused on transforming the symbol of those past horrors into a place of HOPE.
Because of this new focus, in December 2016, Ven. Rev. Patrick McCollum will join Children of the Earth’s Dr. Nina Meyerhof and Bishop Domen Kocevar, from Slovenia, in Oswiecim. Joining forces with the Mayor and other local officials, they will initiate the first steps of a massive joint project to create an international world peace center there along with plans for ongoing peace-training and peace programs that will take place at the Auschwitz Death Camp.
The program will begin by training local high school students from Oswiecim to become Ambassadors of Peace for the project. Children of the Earth will bring trainers from different corners of the world symbolizing the unity of all ethnic groups and offer a 3-day workshop on Human Rights and Peace for the local students who are attending a school in one of the original barracks used for housing prisoners.
On December 16, 2016, the first official program launching the “City of Peace” will occur at Auschwitz beginning with music from the World Peace Violin and opening presentations. The day will continue with both local official speakers and several who will be representing the United Nations DPI. There will also be music from a local school group. In addition, Oswiecim is preparing a Bridge of Infinity from the Nation’s Reconciliation Park to the Camp to further the recognition of its positive identity.
December 16th will mark the beginning of a new era for Oswiecim, Poland. Please take a moment on that day to send those involved your prayers and spiritual support as we all step forward to stand up for peace and unity on our planet!
As always, The Patrick McCollum Foundation for Peace welcomes your donations that assist us in our continued efforts to bring peace to the planet! Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation today!
In deep gratitude,
The Patrick McCollum Foundation for Peace
Update on Standing Rock- Let's all take a deep breath!
December 14, 2016
Let's all take a deep breath!
Earlier today the Water Protectors at Standing Rock were informed that the United States Army Corp of Engineers had permanently revoked the easement for Dakota Access Pipe Line to drill under the Missouri River.
This is a huge win!
But rumors are already circulating that the pipeline company responded by saying that they will just drill anyway and pay the fines. This is an issue that I spoke to in a previous post.
It is important to understand what has changed as of today and why this is a win as opposed to a temporary diversion tactic. Throughout the process, the Water Protectors were being seen and treated as the ones violating the law and the full force of the local law enforcement and the Governor's Office were directed at them. But with this new public information, if the pipeline company decides to openly and directly defy the federal government and the law, then they will become the criminals!
That is a huge difference in circumstances because now the tribes can call on both the state and federal governments to enforce the law, and they can also take legal actions that they can win.
It is of course highly disturbing to know that a corporation here in the United States feels powerful enough to tell the United States Government to take a hike, and for them to openly admit that they see themselves as above the law.
The next move that we will all need to make as responsible citizens if the Corporation doesn't stop the drilling immediately, would be to demand that the government revoke the company's corporate status and identity, and permanently remove them from the corporate roles. Fines are not the answer to this kind of behavior, eradication is!
In the mean time have no fear. The Water Protectors aren't leaving until the matter is finalized for good. We must still send them our support and keep our eyes on the ball. But at the same time, there should be a huge outpouring of congratulations to the protestors at Standing Rock. They took on one of the greatest forces in the world, the mega-corporations and the banking conglomerates, and they won. This is now history!
Tomorrow is another day and no one knows exactly what tomorrow brings, but far more was won today than just the denial of the easements to the drillers. For the first time in modern history, our indigenous brothers and sisters have come out on top and been both seen and heard across the country. It is my hope that this is the beginning of something good amidst all of the rest of the chaos in our country.
As I've said all along. If we don't like the world that we see before us, we each have the power to step forward and do something about it.
Today's positive events are the result of millions of people making the choice to simply step forward to join the water protectors and be heard, and that was what made the difference!
Congratulations, you are now all officially heroes!!!