Project Soul to Soul is a project to restore children’s shoes from Auschwitz by finding out more about the children and tell their stories. See short video at: https://www.dw.com/en/preserving-the-memories-of-children-killed-in-auschwitz/av-63355119
More information is available at: https://www.auschwitz.org/en/museum/news/touching-discoveries-in-childrens-shoes,1435.html
The International March of the Living (MOTL) has partnered with Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and Auschwitz Memorial to preserve 8,000 displayed shoes belonging to children in a global ‘SOUL to SOUL campaign. “The murder of over 200,000 children at Auschwitz is impossible to comprehend. The contrast between the cruelty and callousness of the adult world is perhaps most vividly illustrated in Auschwitz precisely in the juxtaposition with the trusting, curious, innocent and defense- less children who were thrown into a world they could not understand. And this world is preserved in every single shoe. Only these shoes remained after so many children… Among 1.3 million people deported to Auschwitz were 232,000 children up to the age of 18. The largest numbers of children arrived at the camp in the second half of 1942. When Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz in 1945, only about 500 children under 15 years of age were left in the camp, all suffering from diseases and malnutrition.”
Immediate conservation is necessary as the shoes are in danger of disappearing as a historic documentation of the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. In so many cases, the tiny shoes left at Auschwitz are all that is left of young Jewish children murdered by the Nazis.
The conservation project will continue for two years. International MOTL said there was a moral obligation to preserve the shoes.