Shoes on the Danube Promenade, Budapest

A touching, yet powerful scene I sighted in Budapest was that of 60 pairs of iron shoes in a row, on the banks of Danube. It is in honor of the Jews who had fallen victim to Arrow Cross Militiamen. The incident happened sometime between 1944 and 1945. The fleeing Jews were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. The sculpted shoes represent the shoes left behind on the bank when they fell into the river after they were shot dead. The memorial was created by Gyula Pauer, Hungarian sculptor, and his friend Can Togay in 2005.

My fourteen year old and ten year old (then) were shocked to silence learning about this incident. Such grim reminders are essential so that we know how we got a ‘peaceful present’ today.

Thursday Challenge: SHOES

Pannonhalma Archabbey, Hungary
Statue of Jedlik Ányos and Czuczor Gergely

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