A Pair of Shoes at Buchenwald


A Pair of Shoes at Buchenwald


In April 1945, as the gates and confines of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Germany were thrown open, inmates and refugees streamed about the area, heading in all directions, without caring where the roads led, as long as they were away. These unfortunate or perhaps fortunate ones that survived were badly in need of shoes for the long journey to "anywhere & somewhere". As we passed by, I gave this one a spare pair that I had in my bag and he at once put them on without caring for style, size or fit. His ragged ill fitting clothes were all the wordly goods he posessed. I somehow knew, wherever home was, he was heading there. The grateful look on his face as he stood up in his newly gained footwear expressed the thanks that his words and tears were not able to give. Behind him, almost mirrorlike, another shoeless one also gets his chance to try on his pair own of gifted American shoes.


Robert Howard Searl Sr.






Robert Howard Searl Sr. , “A Pair of Shoes at Buchenwald,” Getting the Message Through: The 56th Signal Battalion in WWII, accessed July 19, 2024, https://snapshotswwii.omeka.net/items/show/48.