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The Danube Shoes, not to forget.

I have just returned from Budapest, I come back thinking when I will be able to return and it is that you will not finish this city with one trip, or with two, it gives much more.


In all major cities it is common to find monuments, buildings that convey stories, sensations and intentions. This is the case of Budapest, you can find the monument to András Hadik, the monument to the Soviet Occupation, that of Stephen I of Hungary, that of Imre Nagy, the statue of San Gerardo, Ronald Reagan and many others but there is one in concrete that overwhelms you, transports you to other times of suffering and horror where the worst of the human being is immortalized.

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The history of Budapest

Walking from Parliament through the port of pest towards the Chain Bridge halfway you will find some shoes on the edge looking at the water, these shoes tell us about a story from 1944, the year that Hungary was invaded by the German army and power was in the hands of Ferenc Szálasi, leader of the La Cruz Flechada party similar to the Nazi Party.


The persecution and murder of Jews became the objective, many of them were led in groups to the banks of the Danube, forcing them to take off their shoes and tied in single file, the executioners fired only a single bullet at the first of them, what happened is that the group fell to the water and the Jews died drowning.

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Danube Shoes, the tragedy

On April 16, 2005, this work was placed on the pier in Pest by the Hungarians Gyula Pauer and Can Togay, there are sixty pairs of scattered shoes made of rusty iron and placed as if the owners had just taken off their shoes. 

 

The shoes are of different sizes, they are for children, for women, for men and I interpret that the message of their authors is that barbarism had a single common denominator, being Jewish. In addition, there are three plaques in Hungarian, English and Hebrew with the same message: “In memory of the victims shot on the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen between 1944-45. April 16, 2005

 

The Danube Shoes are the testimony of what happened here, what was and what will not happen again. The inhabitants of Budapest have it very much in mind and it is frequent that they come to place candles and flowers.

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