June 1, 2010 - June 3, 2010
The Centre for Dialogue and Prayer welcomed 5 members of Peace Boat and 8 Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) from Japan 1-3 June 2010. It was a memorable visit for all who met them. The group had a guided tour of Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau. An afternoon seminar was arranged June 2nd in the Centre so that the Hibakusha survivors could hear the testimony of Mr Brasse an Auschwitz survivor. Testimony was also given by one of the Hibakusha Kodama Mitsuo. As part of this meeting 10 young people from Liceum Konarski, Oswiecim and their teacher Barbara Formas were present. The pupils made their own reassuring contribution to the seminar with a promise that their lives will be lived out in choices for peace. The seminar concluded like no other with a prolonged time of silence as both survivors embraced each other, the open wounds of their lives still visible in the tears shed. The mission of Mr Kodama Mitsuo and Mr Brasse today testifies that empowerment of life around the wound is possible and that love rather than hate can have the last word.
Peace Boat is a Japan-based international non-governmental and non-profit organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment. It has organized over 60 regional and global voyages, carrying over 30,000 participants onboard to more than 100 ports of call. The ship becomes a floating community of about 900 participants which visits 15-20 ports around the world and uses the ship as a space for learning and dialogue. The voyages create a neutral space beyond borders, bringing people of different nationalities, religion, and ethnicity together to discuss, understand and jointly take action on issues of peace, human rights, and sustainable development.