Shoes are symbolic. They can be a method of escape as well as a tool for action

We have to tell the story of the Holocaust because even more terrifying is the misinformation that has spread like a dark cloud over certain parts of the world.

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Columnists

May 11, 2022 - 3:31 PM

Some elements of the memorial "The Shoes on the Danube Bank," for the victims who were shot at the edge of the river by the Arrow Cross Militiamen during the World War II, in Budapest. (Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

I recently gave a lecture to students at the University of Colorado about my childhood experiences as a refugee survivor from the days of the Holocaust. Aside from relating my story, I had a message to deliver: “Vote. Talk to your friends, parents, neighbors and anyone who will listen. Your country is at stake!”

The sole purpose of telling my family’s story is to awaken students to what happens in a dictatorship country to ensure that “Never again” means “Take action.”

I can’t seem to concentrate on the shoes in which I walked during my life. Whenever I try, my mind races back to when I was 4 years old and shoes were put on me in haste to run from bombs, from soldiers, from tanks, from buildings crumbling, from fires blazing. Those shoes were used to escape as mothers grabbed their children in terror. Shoes determined one’s fate — life or death. Shoes are a method of escape and a tool for taking action.

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