9th March 2015 – Budapest, Hungary
Much blood has flown over the Danube, from the west To the east of this mighty continent. Like a bad nightmare. And much tears are shed still too, but nothing more than seeing a stuffed toy-egg, in a toddler’s footwear.
I took another long walk along the Danube river today, crossing almost 4 different bridges.
And 300 meters south of the Hungarian Parliament, is a monument that I have been wanting to explore for a while. The ‘Shoes on the Danube bank’, is a project by Hungarian filmmaker Can Togay and sculptor Gyula Pauer. The monument depicts a series of shoes, which does not make any sense unless you read up a little history on wikipedia.
During WWII, the arrow cross party, a nazi-siding hungarian government that lasted only a few months, marched thousands of jews to the banks of the Danube river. Once there, the prisoners were told to remove their shoes, and they were fired upon so that the bodies fell into the Danube.
I knew of this sad story before, but what made it even more sadder, was watching a little girl put kinder surprises into some of the shoes. Others left flowers or candles, so it made no sense to me on why she would put kinder surprises into shoes. Until I saw which shoes she were putting them in.
Those were toddler shoes.