Budapest, del 7 al 10 de desembre de 2017: descobrint nous llocs per Budapest (9 de desembre de 2017; dia 3) (VII)

Des d’aquí ja només ens queda fer una ullada a les vistes que hi ha des de les plantes més elevades de Parlament, la cúpula del qual fa 96m d’alçada. La guia ja ens fa marxar per acabar en una exposició de maquetes a la sortida i poca cosa més. La veritat és que em queda un regust agredolç, ja que recordo la visita molt més enriquidora... i gratuïta! (http://estelroig.blogspot.com/2012/12/budapest-dia-3-2-de-desembre-de-2012-i.html?m=0 ).
També a fora han muntat una botiga de records, sense que siguin barats, precisament. I per més inri, si hom vol anar al lavabo, encara ha de pagar, com en molts llocs de la ciutat.
Malgrat que a dins s’hi està molt bé de temperatura, sortim a l’exterior, al costat del Danubi, a que ens quedi la closca li les extremitats ben congelades. Aprofitem per contemplar el Parlament des de fora i anem a la pròxima estació del dia: el monument de les sabates (http://visitbudapest.travel/articles/one-of-budapests-most-moving-memorials-shoes-on-the-danube/ ). Aquest monument consisteix en un seguit de sabates (de bronze, crec) que hi ha arrenglerades al costat del Danubi. Simbolitzen tant sabates d’home com de dona o d’infant i vol ser un homenatge als jueus que allí van morir. El 1944 els maleïts nazis van envair Budapest, i a part de deportar-ne a molts, i els van obligar a tirar-s’hi (i moriren congelats) o bé els disparaven. Abans a la ciutat hi havia un milió de jueus, mentre que actualment n’hi ha un 100000. A viquipèdia sobre aquest monument es conta això (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoes_on_the_Danube_Bank ):” The Shoes on the Danube Bank is a memorial in BudapestHungary. Conceived by film director Can Togay, he created it on the east bank of the Danube River with sculptor Gyula Pauer to honor the people who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. It represents their shoes left behind on the bank.
The memorial
The monument is located on the Pest side of the Danube Promenade in line with where Zoltan Street would meet the Danube if it continued that far, about 300 metres (980 ft) south of the Hungarian Parliament and near the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; between Roosevelt Square and Kossuth square.
"The composition titled 'Shoes on the Danube Bank' gives remembrance to the 3,500 people, 800 of them Jews, who were shot into the Danube during the time of the Arrow Cross terror. The sculptor created sixty pairs of period-appropriate shoes out of iron. The shoes are attached to the stone embankment, and behind them lies a 40 meter long, 70 cm high stone bench. At three points are cast iron signs, with the following text in Hungarian, English, and Hebrew: "To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45. Erected 16 April 2005."
Murder of the Jews
Most of the murders along the edge of the River Danube took place around December 1944 and January 1945, when the members of the Arrow Cross Party police (“Nyilas”) took as many as 20,000 Jews from the newly established Budapest ghetto and executed them along the river bank. Tommy Dick describes one surviving person’s story from these operations in his book Getting Out Alive and testimony. In February 1945, the Soviet forces liberated Budapest.
January 1945
During World War II, Valdemar Langlet, head of the Swedish Red Cross in Budapest, with his wife Nina, and later the diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and 250 coworkers were working around the clock to save the Jewish population from being sent to Nazi concentration camps; this figure later rose to approximately 400. Lars and Edith Ernster, Jacob Steiner, and many others were housed at the Swedish Embassy in Budapest on Üllői Street 2-4 and 32 other buildings throughout the city which Wallenberg had rented and declared as extraterritorially Swedish to try to safeguard the residents.
Italian Giorgio Perlasca did the same, sheltering Jews in the Spanish Embassy.
On the night of 8 January 1945, an Arrow Cross execution brigade forced all the inhabitants of the building on Vadasz Street to the banks of the Danube. At midnight, Karoly Szaboand 20 policemen with drawn bayonets broke into the Arrow Cross house and rescued everyone (see also front page of 1947 newspaper below). Among those saved were Lars Ernster, who fled to Sweden and became a member of the board of the Nobel Foundation from 1977 to 1988, and Jacob Steiner, who fled to Israel and became a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Steiner's father had been shot dead by Arrow Cross militiamen 25 December 1944, and fell into the Danube. His father had been an officer in World War I and spent four years as a prisoner of war in Russia.
Dr. Erwin K. Koranyi, a psychiatrist in Ottawa, wrote about the night of 8 January 1945 in his Dreams and Tears: Chronicle of a Life (2006), "in our group, I saw Lajos Stoeckler" and "The police holding their guns at the Arrowcross cutthroats. One of the high-ranking police officers was Pal Szalai, with whom Raoul Wallenberg used to deal. Another police officer in his leather coat was Karoly Szabo."
Pal Szalai was honored as Righteous among the Nations 7 April 2009 for helping save these Hungarian Jews.
Karoly Szabo was honored as Righteous among the Nations 12 November 2012
2014 Defacement of the Memorial
In September 2014, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported that several bronze shoes were stolen from the Danube Holocaust memorial, citing the Budapest Beacon. Ha'aretz noted that "it was not immediately clear whether the theft in Budapest, not far from the Hungarian parliament building, was an anti-Semitic act or a meaningless prank. Police said they were not investigating the case because no crime has been reported, said Hungarian newspaper Nepszabadsag."
La veritat és que impressiona. A més, fa un fred gèlid i el dia és gris, que emmascaren encara més l’atmosfera i fan més angoixant i palès el record de la barbàrie que allí succeí.  

Ja se’ns està fent tard i anem a buscar una boca de metro per anar al proper destí. L’agafem just davant del Parlament i em sorprèn les empinades escales mecàniques que hem de baixar per tal de pujar al tren subterrani. La propera destinació del dia és el Mercat Central... però ens equivoquem i sortim en una altra zona de la ciutat. Quan ens n’adonem, intentem tornar a entrar al metro. Expliquem a una de les vigilants, amb els tiquets marcats (els compren en grup, que és més barat) el que ens ha succeït i la noia sembla disposada a deixar-nos passar sense haver de tornar a passar per taquilla... però ai las! S’acosta un altre guarda, malcarat com ell sol i que amb gestos, ja que no parla ni un borrall d’anglès, que hem de comprar sí o sí un altre bitllet de metro. Amb més renecs que res, els comprem... i ara sí, sortim a on pertoca, que és prop del mercat central (http://budapestmarkethall.com/great-market-hall-budapest; https://www.budapestbylocals.com/great-market-hall.html ), a ja on ens trobem amb la membre del grup que de bon matí no es trobava bé. El lloc està ben ple de gent que compra tant queviures com souvenirs. A baix hi ha sobretot botigues de queviures, mentre que a dalt sobretot hi ha botigues de records i llocs per comprar menjar. El lloc ja no tardarà a tancar. Tenim el temps just de comprar algunes coses de regal, però desestimem menjar allí, ja que no tenim temps. (Continuarà)
(La imatge és del pont d'Elisabet, vist des de la zona de l'estàtua de la llibertat)

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