On 26.09.2017, travellers from the NGO Peace Boat met in the Centre of Dialogue and Prayer with students from the town of Oswiecim.

Founded in 1983 by a group of Japanese University students, the organisation Peace Boat today offers trips around the whole world. During these, the participants on board have the opportunity to join seminars and lecture about peace as well as language classes. At the places where the ship drops the anchor, they do for example voluntary work, visit cultural sides or meet with locals for an exchange like here in Oswiecim.

First, all participants together had a conversation where they among other things discussed memorial culture, education and voluntary work. They also shared things about themselves, as the students from Oswiecim talked about what it is like growing up in a town that is so strongly coloured by the past. Meanwhile, the travellers from Japan gave an insight in what the journey with Peace Boat means to them.

Afterwards, the participants chatted with each other while having tea and sweets from Japan and Poland. They further on exchanged numbers, folded origami and even made music together.

All in all, everyone was really happy with the event. “15 years ago, I already visited this place (Auschwitz)”, explained 83 year old  Honda, “but I felt really bad about it. (…) Now I feel better, because I am not alone, but with other people, especially with the young people.” And one of the polish students concluded: ”That we can meet like this here, it shows that we are different, but also the same. We all are humans, and it is important that we do not forget this.”