Unheard of - Holocaust Victims’ Shoes Stolen

  • 2 January 2016
  • Abby

holocaust shoes in museum

Something unheard of happened last year in a Polish museum. Four pairs of shoes were stolen from the Majdanek museum near Lublin, back in November 19, 2014. According to the officials, the eight shoes were stolen as part of a series of thefts that targeted memorials from Poland which stand as a reminder of the Jewish people killed by Nazis in concentration camps during World War 2.

This museum has been ransacked before. Some other items stolen previously from the Majdanek museum include a cap and several victims’ ashes. This particular museum has been opened to commemorate the deaths of over 78,000 people who were sent to the gas chambers near Lublin.

Museums from all around the country have started to issue frequent complains due to the increase in growth of acts of theft and vandalism. Back in July 2014, a German professor was even arrested near Auschwitz for stealing several items. However, the most notorious act took place in 2009, when the world-renowned "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign displayed on the gates disappeared.

Even though the Majdanek museum is equipped with CCTV cameras, the place where the shoes that were stolen were displayed was not covered. Hence, the thieves could freely enter Barracks 52 and steal 8 shoes.

According to the officials, the shoes have a very strong emotional impact, according to Agnieszka Kowalczyk-Nowak, the official museum spokesman. She also said that Barracks 52 stored only the shoes of the victims, which makes the crime even more atrocious. Of course, we are not talking here about material value, but about human nature value and historical richness.

The officials from The Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum also condemned the theft, stating that this act is an “offensive attack on the entire memory of the Holocaust”. I totally agree with what they say and I think this is even more than that. This theft is an attack on the freedom of Europe and on the hard-won freedom of the Jewish people.