The monument on the banks of the Danube River was erected in Budapest, capital of Hungary, in 2005, marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. It was sculpted by the Hungarian artists Gyula Pauer and Can Togay.
The monument consists of 60 pairs of cast shoes and each pair in the monument is unique and different from the others. There are work shoes, women's shoes, children's shoes, some of them are everyday shoes and some are elegant shoes.
The commemoration of "Shoes on the Danube" was not meant to mention only the Jews who were murdered during World War II, but also the terrible crimes of the Hungarians, members of the Arrow Cross Movement, then the racist leaders of Hungary.
Members of the Arrow Cross Party collaborated with the Nazis and the actions were carried out at the order of the Hungarian ruler at the time, as a demonstration of cooperation with the Nazis and their enthusiastic volunteerism to help the genocide, the result of blind hatred of Jews in Hungary of those days. This unit of murder recruited local criminals, tough and cruel thugs, who were then defined as a special unit to fight opponents to the regime.
The murders were conducted in a particularly cruel manner. It was customary to tie the Jews in a group to one another. They were tied up on the riverbank and shot in the first column. As they fell, they dragged the rest of the group, bound to together, into the raging river water, killing everyone at the price of one bullet.