An Online Photographic Exhibit
Auschwitz to Hiroshima--
December 1994 to August 1995 Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II All images and text copyright Skip Schiel, 2020
Auschwitz Balkans Cambodia Europe Philippines Vietnam Passing Through Photographs on pilgrimage Auschwitz to Hiroshima:
The Interfaith Pilgrimage
for Peace and Life, 1995
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1995, I with many other pilgrims went from Auschwitz to Hiroshima, much of the journey on foot.
We began with a convocation at Auschwitz in December 1994, spanned roughly 10,000 miles through troubled areas such as Croatia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines and ended in Hiroshima on August 6, 1995. The pilgrimage's impetus came in 1993 when a Japanese Buddhist monk, Brother Sasamori, noticed that conditions prior to the outbreak of World War II paralleled contemporary conditions. He pointed to the increase of hate and violence groups in the United States, the rise of the far right in Europe and the drift toward enlarging the Japanese military as ominous signs. With his order, Nipponzan Myohoji, known throughout the world for its peace pagoda-building, its peace walks and its political activism, he organized the Interfaith Pilgrimage for Peace and Life, 1995. Pilgrims from all over the world--hosted and joined by local groups--walked to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the end of possibly the most destructive war in history, World War II.
Ranging in number from 25 to over 600, the pilgrims from all major faiths--and many less common paths--met and prayed with people suffering from war, reflected on the causes of violence, sought and told stories of suffering and hope, and helped catalyze peace activities in many regions.
The book, Passing Through, is my account of the Auschwitz to Hiroshima Pilgrimage, thru my eyes and lens, and another pilgrimage I made during the same period, on similar themes, On Turtle Island. I've included both journeys because they complement each other--one primarily about war, the other about American Indian efforts to wage peace.
Ashes & Light
Ashes & Light is a booklet made by a group of pilgrims under the auspices of the Japanese Buddhist order that organized the Auschwitz Pilgrimage. Unfortunately, at this time, it is available only here, on-line.
95 Stories: Auschwitz to Hiroshima
(plus, On Turtle Island)
A compilation of some of the stories I wrote while on the two pilgrimages. On a second pilgrimage in the same year, I was able to walk in the eastern section of North America, named Turtle Island by many native peoples, to learn from Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people how their Great Law of Peace originated and continues to operate.
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