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Auschwitz shoe

Article about: It isn't uncommon for such items to lie undiscovered for so long. I recall back in 1970 walking through the woods on the Verdun battlefields. And as I looked up into the trees, I could see b

  1. #1
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    Default Auschwitz shoe

    I took this photograph several years ago, during one of my earlier visits to KL-Auschwitz. As I walked through the autumn leaves that were gently meandering over the concrete stone floor, I noticed something out of the norm and half covered by an old red brick that lay amidst the rubble of one of the old blocks located at camp BIIf, the infirmary camp next to the medical experimentation blocks where Josef Mengele and others had performed their work. I bent down to take a closer look, and suddenly realised what I was staring at. There before me lay the remains of a former inmate's shoe, likely untouched for over sixty years. My visit to the camp, possibly my third or fourth such visit, had gone really well to that point, I had been blessed with fine weather, and a relatively quite day visitor wise, which always assists when one is undertaking such a sensitive study. All thoughts and emotions left me when I set eyes on the item before me. I remember standing and staring at the shoe for what seemed like an eternity, yet must only have been a few minutes, at most. I asked myself, and indeed even today, half a decade or so later, still ask myself the same questions...who did it belong to, and what happened to them? How did the shoe lose its owner? Questions that will never be answered, not by myself, or even the most learned scholar. The shoe was left where I found it, as for me, the whole site is a museum, and enough shoes are gathered within the permanent exhibition rooms located several kilometres away at the main camp, Auschwitz I. I have been to many camps, some of them several times, and patently, have many memories of these dark locales from the lowest ebb in modern history, yet of all my thoughts and memories, this one shall always stand out. That personal connection, was something that no amount of documentary viewing or book reading can ever equal.

    Regards,

    Carl
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Img0072.jpg  
    Last edited by CARL; 11-27-2015 at 09:55 PM.
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

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    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wypeya oki hi sni"

  2. #2

    Default Re: Auschwitz shoe

    I hate to even say this, but my sinister side makes me ask myself if this wasn't a trap. I know theft has accrued at this camp, including the front sign, so maybe this was a way to spot a criminal in action? I know it's a really long stretch, but it just seems strange one shoe has sat there over 60 yrs without one employee spotting it. I would think at bare minimum one guest by now would have at least informed staff? What do you all think? Btw, thanks for the post, I had family in a sub camp. I wanted to go for my honeymoon, begged the new wife, but the darn women wasn't having it and made us go to Tahiti and bora bora. :/ However in bora bora I learning the allies had a base there, even visiting some of the remaining sites. I never get to pick anything lol!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Auschwitz shoe

    Quote by youthcollector1 View Post
    I hate to even say this, but my sinister side makes me ask myself if this wasn't a trap. I know thief has accrued at this camp, including the front sign, so maybe this was a way to spot a criminal in action? I know it's a really long stretch, but it just seems strange one shoe has sat there over 60 yrs without one employee spotting it. I would think at bare minimum one guest by now would have at least informed staff? What do you all think? Btw, thanks for the post, I had family in a sub camp. I wanted to go for my honeymoon, begged the new wife, but the darn women wasn't having it and made us go to Tahiti and bora bora. :/ However in bora bora I learning the allies had a base there, even visiting some of the remaining sites. I never get to pick anything lol!
    lol. Not trying to get off topic, but in Bermuda there is many military bases because it is a British Island and the war forced them to add anti aircraft guns to all the historical bases that are about 200 yrs old. It is interesting.

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    Default Re: Auschwitz shoe

    A trap....??? In the name of God, why man...???
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Auschwitz shoe

    Quote by big ned View Post
    A trap....??? In the name of God, why man...???
    To catch the thieves!! I know, I know, it waaaay out there, but how could there be a shoe out in the middle of the open, undiscovered for over 60 yrs? Just doesn't make much sense to me.


    It's crazy I know, I just don't understand why it's still out in the open, not guarded, there for anyone to take.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Auschwitz shoe

    What you are describing is entrapment, and that is illegal my friend, you are way out on this fantasy scenario of your own invention. Please, get a grip!
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Auschwitz shoe

    Do they have entrapment laws in Poland?!? Even so , entrapment laws are very grey. Here in the US cops can set up sting operations at airport by leaving wallets on the ground. If you take the cash, you go to jail. Maybe this is due to private property? As to getting a grip sir, I have nothing to hold onto. I said it was outside the box, just don't understand why it would be out in the open unseen for so long, that's all.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Auschwitz shoe

    I'm sorry but I must agree Kyle. I think he was joking (I really hope!)however. It's hard to imagine the horrible things which accrued at these camp for young people, I think. No matter how much history they may know, it still doesn't register. This has been my experience growing older, dealing with other kids making fun or light of the holocaust, including my own family being attacked. I only have such a profound appreciation do due to my family history. I'm not making any excuse for anyone. Apologies for any contribution. This isn't want I was trying to achieve. I out of all people have the up most respect for the situation.

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    Default Re: Auschwitz shoe


  10. #10

    Default Re: Auschwitz shoe

    Assuming that this is really just an undisturbed piece, it is very sad and a great reminder of what we never want to happen again. Thank you for sharing this.

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