It was not a major event in world news, just a brief note buried in press releases, but the story of Noel Butler is important since it offers a road that few seek to follow. Noel Butler is an Aboriginal elder who made a sixteen thousand mile trip to Auschwitz in Poland in an effort to share his culture’s healing ideas to a region which still suffers from the wounds and anguish of World War II. Organized by An Tairseach, a UK culture and media group, Butler performed the first Aboriginal healing ceremony ever held at a Nazi death camp.
The purpose of the healing ceremony is to bind up wounds of pain for those who suffered and for those who committed the atrocities. He is traveling from New South Wales in Australia to Krakow and Belfast in order to connect the world’s oldest culture with memories of sad events in the modern world in hope that his healing ceremony can offer some solace and hope to those who have experienced hate and violence. “I have come from my people to your people,” he told a representative of the Auschwitz museum. “And, I hope I can help and together we can move on with the memory of those who died.”
Perhaps, his next stop could be Jerusalem where he could bind wounds of pain for Jews and Muslims.