Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

Shoes on the Danube River


As tourists take a leisurely stroll along the Danube River in Budapest, they come upon sixty pairs of bronze shoes set into the concrete embankment at the edge of the water.  This is a memorial to the Hungarian Jews who were shot there in the winter of 1944-1945 by members of the Hungarian Fascist Arrow Cross Party.

Before they were murdered, the Jews — men, women, and children — were ordered to take off their shoes, which could be used or sold on the black market. Then the victims were shot, and their bodies were dumped into the Danube.

Sometimes the militiamen tied several Jews together, then shot one of them so that the dead body would pull the living adults and children into the river.  If any of them survived the fall, the militiamen used them for target practice.  This didn’t happen often, though.   Most of the Jews – especially the children — died quickly in the freezing water.  Oh, humanity …


  ©Svetlana Grobman. All Rights Reserved

If you’d like to learn more about Svetlana, click here

To see other interpretations of this theme, click here

6 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

  1. Some of mankind’s darkest moments. My father’s family is Hungarian; I saw this memorial when I was there several years ago to see the sights and explore my heritage. I was very moved by this simple but compelling memorial, which was very personal for me. Beautiful choice Svetlana. May the world learn from its history.


  2. Oh, thank you for this grim reminder of how regular people can be persuaded towards such evil. I wish mankind would learn from history but sadly we see it today. Horrors beyond explanation. Thank you for your bravery to not sugarcoat this challenge.


    • Thank you for your comment. You’re right, we’re not good “students” of history …

      On the other note, I loved your blood moon pictures! I like taking pictures of the moon, too, but I missed a lot recently — including the super-moon :(.
      Thank you for stopping by!


  3. Thank you for these dramatic and emotional photos. Many family members, friends and neighbors I knew fled Poland before the Nazis marched on the country and began their social pogroms against innocent people. Man’s (in)humanity to man is the flip side of being human. Take care.


    • Thank you, Gerry. “Shoes on the Danube River” is one of the most touching (and chilling) Holocaust memorials I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to believe that people can do things like that, but, as we all know, they can …

      Thank you for retweeting my entry, too!


  4. Pingback: Humanity – New Delhi | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

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