HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL: SHOES ALONG THE DANUBE RIVER IN BUDAPEST
History and background
The idea to place a monument on the river embankment to the victims of the Arrow Cross terror belongs to Gyula Pauer, Hungarian sculptor awarded the Kossuth-prize, and to his friend Can Togay. The monument contains of 60 pairs of iron shoes, forming a row of about 40 meters. It is a commemoration dedicated to the victims of the fascist Arrow Cross party who shot the people right into the river, sparing themselves the hard work of burials. The victims had to take their shoes off, since shoes were valuable belongings at the time.
The site is symbolic, this part of the embankment was not the only one used for this purpose.
The iron shoes were placed on the embankment in 2005, on 16th April. The name of the composition is Shoes on the Danube Promenade, each pair being modeled after a contemporary shoe from the 1940’s.
The commemoration site on the Pest side of the Hungarian capital.
Mosaic on the Budapest Danube embankment. ‘In the memory of the Hungarians who fell victims to the Arrow Cross terror in the winter of 1944-45’
Take a look at the shoes! The panoramic photo is work of Gábor Rév.
Tell your children…
Trailer of a Holocaust-movie, based on real events. At the end of the second World War, thousands of Hungarian Jewish people were shot in to the river by their own fellow citizens. The Hungarian Arrow Cross members, cooperating with the German Nazis butchered and robbed so many people at night or dawn at he bank of the Danube. This film is about a little girl who managed to escape this horror. At the end of the film, we see her as an old lady, as she meets a couple of neo-Nazis.
Check out the homepage of the sculptor Gyula Pauer for photos about the preparation of the shoes, the opening ceremony, Holocaust commemoration at the shoes and also memorial plaques in Hungarian, English and Hebrew. Photo galleries…
“Between 1944 and 1945 Károly Szabó was one of the typewriter mechanics of the Swedish Embassy. Dr. Ottó Fleischmann, a Doctor of Medicine and psychologist, employee of the Swedish Embassy, motivated Károly Szabó to play an active role in the rescue actions of Raoul Wallenberg.”
“Károly Szabó attracted exceptional attention on December 24, 1944 as Hungarian Arrow Cross Party members occupied the Embassy building on Gyopár street. He rescued 36 kidnapped employees from the Budapest ghetto. This action attracted Raoul Wallenberg’s interest. He agreed to meet Szabó’s influential friend, Pál Szalai, a high ranking member of the police force The meeting was in the night of December 26. This meeting was preparation to save the Budapest ghetto in January 1945.”
read full article…
Károly Szabó’s role among Wallenberg supporters
Shoes on the Danube Promenade
On the occasion of the 70th commemoration of the Holocaust in 2014, Rebbe Kaliver visited Budapest and sang ‘Sol O Kokosh Mar’ (Szól a kakas már – a popular Hungarian folk song from Transylvania) on the banks of the Danube next to the Shoes Memorial: