A Baby Shoe

A baby shoe and a date

Not a birth date,

The date she died.

Today 8 April 2023, is the day I cried.

Why? I don’t know. I did not know the baby, nor did I know the parents.

On 27 March 1944, this baby was murdered.

Today I cry.

I did not know her, so why do I feel sad?

It was a young human being, a product of love, destroyed by hate

A baby shoe and a date.

Someone who perhaps had a baby with similar shoes murdered this baby.

Today I cry, for a crime committed 79 years ago, why?

Because there were millions of baby shoes and the real crime is that people have forgotten.

Tzipporah and Dov Cohen were a young couple when the war broke out who had already experienced the loss of one child during childbirth. With the German invasion of Lithuania, they unsuccessfully tried to flee to the Soviet Union. They returned to their home in Kovno and then interned at the Kovno Ghetto. Approximately half a year later, on 18 January 1942, Tzipporah gave birth to a daughter who she named Hinda after her mother. At the end of November 1943, the couple was transferred to the Aleksotas Work Camp, whose inmates worked at the airport, where they lived in very difficult conditions, performing backbreaking forced labour.

During the day the men and women would go off to work and only the children would remain at the camp with a small cluster of adults and elderly. On 27 March, trucks arrived at the camp. The adults were taken out a different gate than the usual one so that they would not see the trucks and disrupt the deportation. When the adults returned at the end of the day they discovered the extent of the tragedy: no children remained in the camp. Dov and Tzipporah went to their daughter’s bed, where they found one of her shoes and the gloves Tzipporah had sewn for her. Dov inscribed the date upon the shoe and swore to save the shoe forever.

A baby shoe and a date—

A new date is 8 April 2023. We can never ever let this happen again.

A baby shoe and a date.

But I despair because I know it has happened again.

I cry because we seem to be incapable of learning from the past.




1 Comment

  1. historiebuff says:

    My tears came with this also. And Anger.


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