Day 78, Monday November 11, 2019
I am still behind on my blogging, but I wanted to post this today.
We are in Budapest for Remembrance Day, a country which doesn’t celebrate November 11. Remembering those who have died during war and conflict this year seems more important than ever. We have seen so much of the death and destruction caused by war on this trip.
Today we walked along the Danube river to visit the Shoes on the Danube Promenade. It is an incredibly moving memorial that moved me to tears.A quote from this article explains the history of this memorial.
“Walking along its shores, you’ll come to the end of Szechenyi Street, where you’ll find the most moving Holocaust memorial. named the Shoes on the Danube Promenade, placed in an open space and approachable for visitors. The memorial consists of iron-made, rusty shoes set into the concrete of the embankment.
These shoes stand as witnesses to one of Budapest’s most somber moments during World War II, reflecting the war history and its victims of that time. The location and the elements of the memorial offer an insight into the tragic fate of the Jews who in the winter of 1944-1945 were tied together, shot on the banks of the river, and thrown into it by the members of the Arrow Cross Party. The party publicly murdered thousands of Jews all over Budapest. They found it convenient to throw them into the Danube because the river quickly carried the bodies away. The atrocious Arrow Cross murderers usually forced the victims to remove their shoes before shooting them.
At that time of war, shoes were a valuable commodity and the murderers were quite aware of that, so they would trade the shoes on the black market or wear them themselves. The Jewish children stood terrified while the Arrow Cross pulled their shoestrings out, tying the hands of the victims before shooting them. Sometimes, the hands of two or three people were tied together, adults or children, and the atrocity went so far that only one of them would be shot so he or she would instantly pull the helpless others down in the freezing cold water. During these horrible winter days of 1944-1945, the Danube was called “the Jewish Cemetery.””
“Lest We Forget”