Sometimes you see a piece of art that stops your heart. Something so poignantly beautiful that you want to cry. Such was the effect that these cast iron shoes had on me as I walked along the Danube in Budapest.
The shoes memorialize the Jews killed by the Arrow Cross militia in 1944/45. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. Their shoes were left behind.
Holocaust memorials always make me cry. The heaviness of what happened to those innocent people. It’s unfathomable, yet so easy to imagine. When I see art like this that honors the victims, I am stopped in my tracks. How can I move forward when they cannot?
I stood there for nearly an hour in stillness.