This display honors the memory of Hungarian Jews killed during the Arrow Cross terror in Budapest during 1944-45.
It consists of 60 pairs of cast iron shoes. During the terror, the victims were to take off their shoes and would then be shot so that their bodies fell into the River Danube and were carried away.
The Arrow Cross Party was the Hungarian equivalent of the National Socialist Party, achieving power only for a very brief time at the end of World War II, following the forced "resignation" of the Admiral Horthy. Their bloody reign ended with the arrival of Soviet troops in 1945 and they were later tried as war criminals.
The shoes found here on the waterfront are actual shoes worn by victims of the Arrow Cross and Nazis. During 1944 and 1945 Jews were routinely shot in back of the head and dumped into the Danube, mostly while chained to one another. The shoes are bronzed and you'll find baby shoes along with adult shoes. Some shoes are so worn out that you can almost see and feel the misery that these people went through. There are also two plaques commemorating the victims, one in English and the other in Hebrew.
Shoes on the Danube is a memorial to the many Jews who were rounded up, shot, and dumped in the Danube during WWII. It consists of 60 pairs of bronze shoes along the riverbank.