Shoes

It was, however, the shoes left behind the spoke their message so quietly that it was deafening

We have heard the analogies perhaps dozens of times growing up. We should never think of judging anyone until we have walked a mile in their shoes. An ‘Americanized’ version of that is from what is known as ‘an American Indian proverb.’ Never criticize a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins. I imagine it is the use of the moccasins that makes it an American Indian proverb. Still, the thought is there.
The Bible also placed some tradition upon shoes. It was customary in a Jewish home and perhaps, too, in homes of Arabs of similar times in history; that a guest in the home was to have his shoes removed so that his feet could be washed by the host or the host’s designee. It was not a light issue but one of great importance. To fail to treat someone in this way was to show them disrespect. Jesus instructed His disciples that when they came to a town and were well received, they were to allow their blessing to remain on that town. But, if they were mistreated, they were to remove their sandals and shake the dust off of their feet, symbolizing the removal of blessing. Jesus said it was better for Sodom and Gomorrah than it will be for that town’s people upon the Day of Judgment. Paul and Barnabas, when the irreverent people of the Antioch stirred up the populace against them, took leave of the city. Following the direction Christ gave to his apostles during His earthly ministry, they stopped at the city gate to shake the dust from their feet and then they continued then on their way.
Shoes, in many cultures may define their wearer. My own propensity is to almost always wear a western style “cowboy” boot even when donning a tuxedo for some special occasion. My boots have defined me to some folks. The business man or the sports enthusiast each may be defined by their shoes; as too, the child who cannot get a new pair of shoes before school starts because mother and father are simply too poor. All of these things help to define the wearer. There are, too, the ‘baby’s first shoes.’ Shoes that are bronzed and kept often with a photo of the baby who first toddled about in those clumsily formed shoes that looked like they were more of a prison for those tiny feet than a comforting wrap against the elements.
Twice, I had the inner-peace shattering occasion to view such baby shoes, not bronzed, but still immortalized in a macabre fashion that cried out against the evil that had stolen that small life from this world. Perhaps nothing can speak such a message about a person more than shoes that they have worn in a time or in a way that tells such a horrifying tale. A pitiful message across the years. It is a message that is given to those who happen upon those shoes, either by chance or choice; but in either way, the recipient, not being prepared for the impact those shoes would have upon them will most certainly be taken aback for some time to come.
The first encounter that I had with such shoes was in a stark building, darkened by dust encrusted windows and the absence of any produced light made it even darker. It was darker, still, in the evil that enveloped the building. The long center of the main room was roped off and within it, was a pile of shoes ten feet high at the crest of the pile and more than thirty feet long at this farthest edges. The building was in Stuthof Camp. It was one of the few buildings left in this, the first Nazi ‘relocation’ camp for Jews during WWII built on Polish soil, just about 21 miles NE of Gdansk Poland and less than 2 miles from the Baltic coast. Stuthof had as few as 250 prisoners and grew to a maximum of 52,000 with over 1,000 SS guards by January of 1945. It began not just for Jews but for the undesirable Polish elements. It was, however the shoes left behind that spoke their message so quietly that it was deafening.
Poland Stuthof Shoes

An early photo before the building was used to memorialize the shoes left behind

As difficult as this site was to view, particularly the small children’s and infants’ shoes, it did not prepare me for my next encounter with another such site; shoes whose souls are still speaking their silent message across the miles, the years and into the hearts of all who will stop long enough to listen.
The City of Budapest is one of the most beautiful in all of Central and Eastern Europe; perhaps even further. From Hero’s Square to the Opera House, to the casual promenade along the banks of the Danube River all the way to the base of the Chain Bridge which is known for its majestic lions and massive expanse across the river the cities of Buda and Pest have joined to make an amazing cultural venue. There is one site, though, along the shores of the Danube in the shadow of those majestic lions that bespeaks a horror so intense it will take away one’s breath. I found that it left me spell-bound in the mystery of what the last words, the last thoughts and the last looks between loved ones might have been as they were lined upon the bank of the river and murdered. Their bodies – from the smallest of children in their mothers’ arms to the old and infirm stood, awaiting the sting of the bullets that would dispatch them to their certain death and a watery grave marked only on this earth by the shoes the left behind. Immortalized by the townspeople of Budapest as a defiant call to never allow such a horror to happen again – the shoes are lined up along the banks as if their owner’s next steps would be into eternity.

Budapest WWII Memorial to those murdered on the banks of the Danube River 1944-1945 by ArrowCross Militia
Budapest WWII Memorial to those murdered on the banks of the Danube River 1944-1945 by the   Arrow Cross Militia

On the night of January 8, 1945, an Arrow Cross execution brigade forced all of the inhabitants of the building on Vadasz Street to the banks of the Danube. Arrow Cross was an extremist socialist party holding power in Hungary’s government in collusion with the Nazis. At midnight, Karoly Szabo and 20 policemen with drawn bayonets broke into the Arrow Cross house and rescued everyone there. Among those saved were Lars Ernster, who fled to Sweden and became a member of the board of the Nobel Foundation from 1977 to 1988, and Jacob Steiner, who fled to Israel and became a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Steiner’s father had been shot dead by Arrow Cross militiamen on December 25, 1944, falling into the Danube. His father had been an officer in World War I and spent four years as a prisoner of war in Russia. The Arrow Cross had usurped the symbol from the ancient Magyar for themselves and was then used it to symbolize their fascist movement known later as Hungarists. They oversaw between ten and fifteen thousand people murdered outright and another 80,000 deported to Auschwitz.

Hungarist flag
.
Dr. Erwin K. Koranyi, a psychiatrist in Ottawa, wrote about the night of January 8, 1945 in his Dreams and Tears: Chronicle of a Life (2006), “in our group, I saw Lajos Stoeckler” and “The police holding their guns at the Arrowcross cutthroats. One of the high-ranking police officers was Pal Szalai, with whom Raoul Wallenberg used to deal. Another police officer in his leather coat was Karoly Szabo.
The memorial along the Danube almost always has flowers or candles laid within the shoes. No one particular pair is identified with an individual victim, rather the sixty pairs that are made from iron are fashioned and welded in place as a lifetime remembrance of the evil which can overtake mankind when he fails to stand for the laws which protect humanity and to stand for the biblical principles that demand one brother look after another regardless of nationality or genetics. Such evil happens when people forget that under the depth of skin lies a heart that beats every single beat only by the permission of God the Creator. The shoes serve as a reminder not only of the brave heroics of the policemen that night who took a stand for what is right and what is fair; for justice and for humanity as a whole but also as a call to all future generations to not allow this to happen again. By Christmas of 1944 when Jacob Steiner’s father was murdered on the banks of the Danube, millions had already died at the hand of demonic forces masquerading as military officers and enlisted soldiers, as well as government officials and ordinary people who simply did nothing.
This short monograph, Shoes was not meant to be light-hearted or lightly up-lifting. However, it is, if the reader allows it to be, a source of encouragement. Our world again faces demonic extremists that have only one desire: to rule and reign by terror and violence, murder and mayhem at the edge of a sword, inflicting the name of Allah upon those they call infidels, as well as, on those who might consider themselves of the faithful.
The encouragement lies within a simple maxim: The darker the room the more luminescent even the feeblest light. The brightness of that light is proportional to the depth of the darkness within which it burns. When the light is that which burns within a believer in Jesus Christ, even though the strength of that believer’s faith may provide only a modicum of power for the light to glow, the darkness that envelopes it enables that light to have an effect far beyond its means. Scientists tell us that under ideal conditions our unaided vision can detect a light as dim as a candle flame or a lit match 30 miles away on a dark clear night. You can perhaps imagine the strength of the light which has the full power of Jesus. In Him there is no darkness. God is truth, life and light. In these darkest of times, may the power of the light of Christ light your life, embolden your witness and may it never be said of this generation of Christians that we stood by while others collected shoes.

BOSTON BOMBERS’ PLAN INTERCEPTED BY MOSCOW

As difficult as it may be for many Americans to understand the mindset that allows a mother to push her two children to commit mass murder and suicide for the sake of a “religion of peace,” even more daunting questions must be brought forward. If in fact, Russia has had these tapes of the conversations for two years, why do they just show up now?

FSB logomoscowKgb logo

TODAY Reuters and Voice of Russia Reported that  Tapes Including the Boston Bombers and their Mother Talking Plans of JIHAD!

News source, that spoke on the condition of anonymity, announced today that intercepted telephone conversations between the Boston Bombers and their mother as they spoke of planning jihad action against Boston and against New York’s Times Square were turned over to the FBI. The first conversation was recorded between one of the brothers and their mother as early as 2011. It was reported by sources earlier this week that the boys’ mother, Zubeydat Tsarnaev, had pushed at least the eldest son toward Islamic Jihad. With three dead and over 200 gravely wounded, it is not certain the veracity of reports that they were planning on completing their bombing campaign with attacks in Times Square. Authorities have not responded to direct inquiries regarding the further plans of the two that could have included suicide by cop as an attempt at martyrdom. The elder brother, Tamerlan, did just that on April 19th succombing to his multiple gunshot wounds at a Boston hospital shortly after a shoot-out with police.. The second brother, Dzhokhar, was arrested on April 20th after a storied chase and search for him by police. The way in which he fought to get away and hide even when cornered indicates he must not have been quite ready for martyrdom.

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, proud mother of Boston bombers  Photo: Reuters – Will she receive a lifetime financial benefit from AQAP as reward for pushing her sons to commit mass murder? At what point does a mothers’ heart do such a thing? How much money does it take? Could it really be such a devotion for a religion that practices barbaric forced sterilization on women, binds them in centuries of oppressive tradition and allows children to set a bomb at the feet of an 8 year old boy? This is all from the Allah they worship, the same who will arbitrarily decide whether to send a believer to his hell regardless of how pious a life has been led…  color us confused, and saddened, very saddened.

In a related post on the network between Chechnyan Muslims and AQAP (Al Qaeda on the Arabian Penninsula), Dr. Ross Riggs of Security Consulting Investigations, wrote that “It is within this context that Americans must now understand  their risk matrix is expanded by the probability of further attacks  against the U.S. by members of these Chechnyan groups that may well be  underwritten by some faction of Al Qaeda. A likely scenario is that the  AQAP (Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula) is the state sponsor of this  recent series of events in Massachusetts. An official situation report  states that the Boston attacks had “…unmistakable parallels with the  smaller scale terrorist attacks that radical Islamist groups based in  Yemen and Pakistan have attempted in the United States since 2001.” The situation report quoted here agrees with the analysis of the GCIS and  its Executive Council that groups such as AQAP and others have moved  toward smaller attacks that can be perpetrated by small cells operating  virtually independent of the team.”

As difficult as it may be for many Americans to understand the mindset that allows a mother to push her two children to commit mass murder and suicide for the sake of a “religion of peace,” even more daunting questions must be brought forward. If in fact, Russia has had these tapes of the conversations for two years, why do they just show up now? Why, if the FBI was notified by the FSB (former KGB) three years ago of intelligence on the two brothers and perhaps the parents, why were they not located then by the FBI and fully investigated and deported or charged? Reports to the media suggest they were never truly investigated. How is that possible? There is talk that at least one of the family, perhaps the mother, was on a no-fly list? And the father, returned to Chechnya; but the family continues here? The sons are here attending prestigious prep and high schools and then the extremely expensive universities that most American teens could never dream of  getting a scholarship to or even be considered in the first place. Were the Tsarnaeva brothers really that smart? Their escape “planning” doesn’t seem to verify that…. or were they backed by money from elsewhere and a complicit university system perhaps closes its eyes when funding comes from a person, place, entitiy or government that is known to be on the US Terrorist Watch List? When dad left to go back to Chechnya, was that a connection for furthering training, obtaining weapons and explosives or was he getting out of the country in preparation for the attacks? So many questions.

There are certainly, it seems, more questions than answers at this point. As additional revelations come out regarding the information that should have been known by authorities in the U.S. under this Administration’s watch, where is the public outcry, so incredibly silent since Benghazi? How many more little fellas need to lose their lives? How many more U.S. Ambassadors must be killed and shamefully dragged through the streets? Counterterrorism officers, federal agents, U.S. military and law enforcement officers work night and day trying to hold back the flood gates but their are too many holes in the dyke to be plugged, too few fingers to do the plugging. When will the American people get angry?Americans should be angry at the enemies of this nation who attack us and then take our “humanitarian aide” and angry at our President and Congress for sitting on their hands. When will Americans agree to  STAND UP WITH our friends, such as Israel and tell our enemies, like Iran and North Korea to SIT DOWN!… if they will not sit, then we shall knock them down?!

PC should be an electronic marvel that sits on my desk in my study – it should NOT be what drives our country’s foreign affiars, our military planning, our police officers’ responses, our immigration policy, and our safety as Americans.

In the iconic movie of the 1960’s,Green Beret, John Wayne plays Col. Kirby a strong leader in a tough war. At one point he tells his troops, “Remember, the word is alert!” It should not be necessary for SCI and others under our flag to remind the citizens that we are at war, but sometimes in the push of life, that happens. Our cops, firefighters, first responders, federal agents and military are all acutely aware of it. Maybe its time that someone tells the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and those at Capitol Hill the news.