After many years of planning, the green light was finally granted: the heart of London will have a Massacre Memorial and Education Center. According to the British government, the aim is to create a national place in Showa to honor the 6 million Jewish victims (Hebrew word used for the Holocaust).
In addition, all others affected by Nazism will be honored, including members of the nomadic Sindhi and Roma ethnic group, homosexuals and people with disabilities, according to a London press release.
The Combined Education Center will also deal with subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sudan. Admission is free.
Although it is the UK’s first memorial and educational center in the Holocaust, according to the official report, there is already a Holocaust Memorial Garden in Hyde Park, London.
Building a memorial in Westminster County is controversial at the planning stages. Presented by former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014, the plan was initially rejected by local authorities in 2018 on the grounds that Hyde Park was too close to other monuments in London and did not have enough space.
The government of current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was able to persuade local officials in 2019, but the choice of location was criticized by academics.
Scientists at British universities have vehemently rejected the construction of a Holocaust monument near British government and parliament buildings in Westminster. They fear that this could add unnecessary weight to the role played by the British government in protecting Jews and other victims of Nazism.
In 2018, 42 researchers, including Shirley Gilbert, a renowned professor of Jewish history at University College London, signed an open letter. In that letter, scholars noted that they feared that the UK would portray itself as a successful country with a heroic bailout curriculum that did not match historical research.
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