Thursday, 1 March 2018

The Early Years

First Few Stones

Peace Rally Anti Iraq War 2003
This blog is a work in progress. It starts with the first few stones collected in the 1980s. Since that time there are over 120 personally collected, from all over the world.

Each stone has a memory. It may be a marker that points to conflicts which affected local, national or world peace from anywhere on earth and at any time in history. It may be an example of the many places on earth where peace exists and where we can enjoy the beauty of what our planet has to offer. In some cases, they are personal reminders from the writer's own life.

As time goes by, you will find photographs and information to flesh out the stories that these stones tell.

In the meanwhile, here a a few quotations to whet your appetite......

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is
for good men to do nothing"
  Edmund Burke
“You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.” 
John Lennon
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King 
“Peace cannot be kept by force;
it can only be achieved by understanding.”
Albert Einstein 
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
Buddha
“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.”
Dalai Lama 

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Auschwitz -Berkenau

Auschwitz -Berkenau Concentration Camp, Poland 1987

This is the first stone collected.
The Auschwitz concentration camp was a network of concentration and extermination camps built and operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II. It consisted of Auschwitz I (the original concentration camp), Auschwitz II–Birkenau (a combination concentration/extermination camp), Auschwitz III–Monowitz (a labor camp to staff an IG Farbenfactory), and 45 satellite camps.

Auschwitz I was first constructed to hold Polish political prisoners, who began to arrive in May 1940. The first extermination of prisoners took place in September 1941. Auschwitz II–Birkenau went on to become a major site of the Nazis' Final Solution to the Jewish Question during the Holocaust. From early 1942 until late 1944, transport trains delivered Jews to the camp's gas chambers from all over German-occupied Europe, where they were killed en masse with the pesticide Zyklon B. An estimated 1.3 million people were sent to the camp, of whom at least 1.1 million died. Around 90 percent of those were Jews; approximately one in six Jews killed in the Holocaust died at the camp.Others deported to Auschwitz included 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Romani and Sinti, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, 400 Jehovah's Witnesses, and tens of thousands of others of diverse nationalities, including an unknown number of homosexuals.Many of those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, forced labour, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments.
In the course of the war, the camp was staffed by 7,000 members of the German Schutzstaffel (SS), approximately 12 percent of whom were later convicted of war crimes. Some, including camp commandant Rudolf Höss, were executed. The Allied Powers did not act on early reports of atrocities at the camp, and their failure to bomb the camp or its railways remains controversial. One hundred forty-four prisoners are known to have escaped from Auschwitz successfully, and on 7 October 1944 two Sonderkommando units—prisoners assigned to staff the gas chambers—launched a brief, unsuccessful uprising.
As Soviet troops approached Auschwitz in January 1945, most of its population was sent west on a death march. The prisoners remaining at the camp were liberated on 27 January 1945, a day now commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In the following decades, survivors such as Primo LeviViktor Frankl, and Elie Wiesel wrote memoirs of their experiences in Auschwitz, and the camp became a dominant symbol of the Holocaust. In 1947 Poland founded the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum on the site of Auschwitz I and II, and in 1979 it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
To read more about this from Wikipedia, CLICK HERE