One of Budapest's most striking Holocaust monuments is The Shoes on the Danube Promenade. Sixty pairs of rusty, vintage shoes made of iron are nailed to the stone embankment along the banks of Danube in Budapest, roughly 300 m from the Hungarian Parliament building.
The cast iron placards read, ''To the memory of the victims fired into the Danube by Arrow Cross fighters in 1944–1945,'' in Hungarian, English, and Hebrew, and are located at three spots along a 40 m long, 70 cm high stone bench behind the sculpture.
Know about the inspiration behind this form of the holocaust:
Filmmaker Janos Can Togay came up with the concept for the Holocaust monument. He collaborated with artist Gyula Pauer to design and create the bronze shoes in memory of the Jews brutally murdered between December 1944 and January 1945.
To remember the systematic murders of Hungarian Jews by Hungarian fascists, a memorial was built in 2005. (Hungary allied with Nazi Germany for the false hope of regaining lost territories in WW1).
Visitors at the monument light candles or leave floral tributes, placing them inside a shoe with a special meaning or memory:
The ''Shoes on the Danube'' memorial was built on April 16, 2005, in honor of those who perished during the Arrow Cross dictatorship. This monument, which shows the shoes left behind by the hundreds of Jews killed by the Arrow Cross, is uncomplicated yet eerily disturbing.
The types of shoes, including a man's work boot, a businessman's loafer, a woman's pair of heels, and even a child's little shoes, were intentionally picked to demonstrate how nobody was spared, regardless of age, gender, or vocation.
These little sculptures are a sad reminder of the souls that once inhabited them when they are arranged carelessly as if the individuals had just emerged from them:
The shoes are now decorated with candles and flowers, and a plaque honors the victims of the Arrow Cross militiamen's 1944–1945 Danube River shootings.
To terrorize other Jews or any ''Goys'' who may want to help or save Jews, the Jews were ordered to line up by the river, remove their shoes, and face the Danube while being shot in the open.
The river cleaned up the mess, the bodies were taken away by the water, and the shoes were sold on the black market.
The sculpture depicts the instant immediately following death, when the shoes were still there— men's, women's, and children's—some prettier, others more worn-down and ragged, occasionally missing a shoelace or even a partial pair. They were all different, yet they were all connected.
Give yourself time and space to grieve after witnessing the horrendous crime scene: With a long bench for the thought behind the monument, the sculptures now function as a quiet, moving memorial that redefines the phrase ''put yourself in his shoes.'' This memorial, also known as the Shoes on the Danube Bank, serves as a perpetual warning of the perils of fascism, antisemitism, and xenophobia.
Contemplate the struggles of people and feel grateful for freedom:
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Danube Promenade offers a stunning view at any time of year and stretches between the Chain Bridge and the Elisabeth Bridge on the east bank of the river.
The views are fantastic when the sun sets, and the city lights come on, so go there before sundown.
Id. Antall Jozsef Rkp, Budapest 1054 Hungary