Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Our Little Corner of the World...a Somber Moment in Hungary's History...

You might be wondering why I'm posting a picture of what looks like an old pair of shoes.

They're actually bronzed shoes...bronzed shoes in the style of the 1940's,
And yes...they are bronzed...for a reason.

These shoes stay poised on the Pest side of the Danube,
in memory of the many Hungarian Jews who were shot in this very spot
during 1944-45 by the horrific Arrow Cross Party.
We all know about the Holocaust and are aware of the kinds of atrocities 
that were inflicted upon Jews and others during Hitler's reign.
And while we may have read about Hungary in that time, probably most of us
don't know about the Arrow Cross Party.
 Hitler toppled the government of Hungary and put in its place,
Ferenc Szalasi and his fascist and violently anti-Semitic Arrow Cross Party.
From 1944-45 this vile group freely roamed Budapest murdering Jews publicly.
This group would bring Jews to the side of the Danube, line them up along the wall and shoot them.
The Jews would then fall into the water and the current would take them away.
While facing the militia, the Jews were made to remove their clothes and shoes.
The militia would then shoot them and collect the shoes after they had fallen into the water
as shoes were a valuable commodity during the war.
Sometimes they would take shoe laces and tie several Jews together at the wrist.
Then they would shoot one.  When the dead body fell into the water, the others
would fall with them and they would then freeze to death or drown in the water.
Sometimes, the militia would practice target shooting the Jews who were still 
alive when they were in the water.

I can't even imagine the horror these victims faced.

 How can one human being inflict such horror on another human being?
I don't understand such hatred.
I don't understand such cruelty.

When I was in Dachau, I walked through the camp by myself.
I swear I could feel the pain of the people who were there.
This memorial was every bit as poignant.

The memorial was conceptualized by the film director Can Togay.
Gyula Pauer was the sculptor who brought the memorial to fruition.

Each shoe is a tangible memory of the people who wore them and died there.
There are men's shoes, women's shoes, and tragically, even children's shoes.

Unfortunately, we continue to live in a world where unspeakable evil still exists.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Edmunde Burke

To visit more little corners of the world...click on the image below!



  1. Replies
    1. Bas...I'm sorry I can't comment on your blog...I don't do Google + You have some wonderful photos...especially of the horses!!!

  2. Haunting, poignant, and very emotional.

    1. all that and more in person...
      Thanks William...

  3. A deeply touching post, thank you!
    I'm living nearby Bergen-Bergen, so I know exactly what you mean, when you tell about your feelings at this place.

    Sometimes I hate to be a human, all this cruel things that humans do to other human, to animals and to our planet ....

    hugs i.

  4. A very powerful tribute. The story is beyond horrible. I, like you, can't imagine this level of hatred.

  5. This must have been painful to write, Kathy, because it's painful to read. And for those who lived and then died in such a way -- incomprehensible.

    1. It is one of the most memorable moments of our trip. Very deep emotional impact walking along the wall of shoes, thinking of the story told us...

  6. How eloquently stated and photographed, Kathy. The story is old but it must remain new. Your telling, and others like it, revives it.

  7. What a remarkable monument - I cannot even begin to understand what emotions that place must create for so many people.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    1. When you know the story behind it, the memorial is stunning...

  8. Great photos of this strong and poignant memorial. Thanks for your link!
    Birgitta Budapest


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