‘Shoes on the Danube Bank’ Jewish Memorial, Budapest

Towards the end of World War II, between October 15th, 1944 and March 28th, 1945, the Hungarian government was briefly under the control of a fascist organisation known as the Arrow Cross Party. During this dark period, 10-15,000 people were murdered in Hungary by Arrow Cross Militia, and a further 80,000 were sent to their deaths in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

In Budapest, Arrow Cross soldiers would line Jews up along the bank of the Danube, instruct them to remove their shoes, and then shoot them, such that their bodies fell into the river and were washed away. The Shoes on the Danube Bank, envisaged and created by Can Togay and Gyula Pauer, was erected in 2005 as a memorial to those who died in this atrocity.

IMG_0669The monument is located just south of the Hungarian Parliament on the Pest (east) side of the River Danube. It comprises 60 pairs of shoes, appropriate to those worn during World War II, made of iron. The metal footwear is lined up along the very edge of the riverside stone embankment, as if left there by the victims of the Arrow Cross’s reign of terror.

IMG_0668IMG_0672IMG_0666As you might imagine, Shoes on the Danube Bank is an extremely poignant and moving memorial. Standing there, contemplating what happened at that very site, I felt tears pricking at my eyes. I found it almost impossible to comprehend how such events could actually take place. I still do. And even now, thinking back on my visit as I write this post, I feel a lump in my throat.

IMG_0670IMG_0671This post was inspired by the theme Bare Feet and Shoes from Cee (of Cee’s Photography).

IMG_1599After you’ve finished contemplating Shoes on the Danube Bank, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Europe, History, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to ‘Shoes on the Danube Bank’ Jewish Memorial, Budapest

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    That must have been one emotional visit. I can feel it in your photos. Marvelous entry.

  2. Amy says:

    very moving… These are great photos, Jaspa!

  3. Norm 2.0 says:

    Puts everything into perspective doesn’t it? I can only imagine how it must feel to be there in person.

  4. Agnes says:

    Sad topic, but great pictures. I hope you have some good memories from Budapest as well!

  5. tgeriatrix says:

    A very good reminder/memorial!

  6. Great post and photos – thanks for sharing that. Powerful tribute.

  7. mukhamani says:

    Yes, it is very moving, I just kept wondering about those who would have worn those shoes. Just those bare shoes feel so incomplete.

    • Jaspa says:

      I like to think that the incompleteness is a big part of the story, Mukhamani. After all, the victims’ lives were incomplete as they were made to take off their shoes and stand by the riverbank.

  8. Sue says:

    Very powerful.

  9. Great photos and moved by your words. I could feel the pain and loss while reading it.

  10. Heartbreaking. I can’t imagine being there.


    • Jaspa says:

      Being there today is easy, Tree. The views from that spot are marvellous. It’s just such a shame they’re overshadowed by events that took place 60 years ago.

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  12. Cee Neuner says:

    Congratulations! I have selected this post to be featured on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.
    I hope you have a wonderful week!

  13. Wonderful photos, and such an unusual memorial. Congratulations! featured blogger 🙂

  14. Wow, what a moving memorial.

  15. A beautiful monument but heartbreaking.

  16. Spooky, yet very effective, in honoring the people who were taken. Thanks for the post.

  17. irinadim says:

    Very moving memorial and wonderful post!

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  19. andreab40 says:

    Great post. You captured the mood of this sad part of our history. Although its a memento of sad events its nice to see my lovely home in the background!

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