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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The shoes of Auschwitz


Never in the history of mankind has there ever been recorded anything that compares to the atrocities and vile treatment by the Nazis from 1940 through 1944 in Europe of its fellow citizens!  

Germany operated 23 concentration camps with up to 1,000 satellite camps that saw 6 million-plus Jews exterminated, including 1.5 million children and 5,000 to 7,000 gypsies.

While, obviously, all the deaths are important, the 1.5 million children tears at one’s conscious and sense of decency! Understandably, with as many victims passing through the camps, massive stockpiles of personal items remained, shoes, glasses,  clothing and jewelry. 

Only in recent years has the Auschwitz-Bernanke Museum started uncovering notes, documents and personal messages from desperate mothers left in children's shoes, trying to leave a record of their children who were condemned to die, leaving personal information for posterity and history of their child for some record of their existence.

These shoe messages are not isolated and few in numbers. Literally hundreds of mothers tried this effort to leave a legacy for their beloved children.

These shoes of Auschwitz are a stark reminder of just how cruel and inhuman we can be to our fellow man. NEVER AGAIN CAN THIS BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN!

Source: Auschwitz-Bernanke Museum, Warsaw, Poland

James W. Anderson