On Trip Tidbits: The Shoes on the Danube

Watching the 2-minute introductory video is important.

 

My original thought was to include this place in a collection with other tidbits; but on second thought, it deserves to stand alone.

There’s a small, but powerful memorial located along the Danube on the Pest side of the river. It’s simple – 60 pairs of shoes of men, women, and children from all walks of life are made out of cast iron.

60 pairs of shoes facing the river.

60 pairs shoes symbolizing a sense of abandonment.

60 pairs of shoes serving as a memorial to victims of horror.

60 pairs of shoes reminding us of something that humanity shouldn’t repeat.

Around December 1944 and January 1945, members of Hungary’s fascist Arrow Cross Party militia police took Jews from Budapest’s Jewish Ghetto to the river. The militia ordered the people to take off their shoes and face the river. Then the militia shot the people so the bodies fell toward the water.

Just another horror that I knew nothing about until this trip.

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48 thoughts on “On Trip Tidbits: The Shoes on the Danube

  1. Frank,

    You were right, this deserves its own place.

    I watched the video before reading your explanation, already knowing these were victims of senseless horror. It’s simply heart wrenching to think of all the lives that were stolen away. It’s madness is what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hola aFrank,
    Writing my comment will hopefully calm the overwhelming feelings that one has while viewing the video. As an artist, this stirs emotion which is what art is for me. Grasping the emotions of the sculpture from a place the artist was trying to recreate. A masterpiece … BRAVO 👏
    Thank you for posting such an informative account of your vacation.
    Isadora 😎
    Ps – have been writing a short story for a WOW – Woman in Writing contest. Sorry I missed the musical. Time crunch 😳😊😎

    Liked by 2 people

    • Isadora,
      The video is so well done – yes, moving! Interesting how the artist took a simple, subtle approach to deliver a powerful message. I wonder what other ideas were considered. Thanks for letting me know about your absence. At least I know it’s not because of health concerns. Keep up the good work. Neil Diamond this weekend.

      Like

  3. I saw something else about this memorial recently, and I was thinking about it when another blogger had a (totally innocent) photograph that included a lost shoe left on some rocks. You were right to feature this separately. I am saddened that recent surveys show so many people do not know about the Holocaust or do not realize how many people were killed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Frank,

    I’ve seen the video before and it always has the same effect on me. In Jerusalem we went through the children’s memorial in Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum. I don’t understand such brutality. Never have never will. And yet we see history on the cusp once more. Do I believe it can happen again? Yes. Thank you for sharing this touching video and your tidbits of commentary.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rochelle,
      Thanks for sharing your feelings here, as well as your thoughts related to the Yad Vashem. One can only hope that it wouldn’t happen again – but, at least in my opinion, I’m not sure how well humanity learns from itself – its own history. Unfortunately, genocide occurs in parts of Africa. Very sad.

      Like

  5. Wow! The video, with the haunting theme from Schindler’s List brought tears to my eyes! It’s an amazing memorial. The shoes are such a poignant and dramatic way to remind each visitor of the atrocity. I’d never heard this story before, but I am deeply moved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      I can’t say enough how good that video is. The creator did excellent work! Unfortunately, before this trip, I admit not knowing anything about this event. Then again, it’s not surprising given those times. Sickening!!!

      Like

  6. This was quite stirring, to say the least. It’s one subject I shy away from because as long as I live, I will never wrap my brain around such cruelty. Humanity at its worse.

    I agree…it deserved its own pedestal though nothing could really rival it.

    Susannah

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: On Trip Tidbits: More Budapest – A Frank Angle

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