British Government Gives Go-Ahead for National Holocaust Memorial Next to Parliament in London
August 2, 2021
After years of discussion and debate over the construction of the United Kingdom’s first national Holocaust Memorial, the project was officially given planning permission by the British government last week.
The memorial will be built in London, in Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Parliament Building, a prominent location that had drawn objections from critics over environmental and safety-related issues.
It will commemorate the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, as well as other victims of Nazi persecution, including the Roma, gay, and disabled people.
The groundbreaking will take place later this year, and the memorial is expected to be open to the public by late 2024.
A Learning Center at the base of the memorial will have exhibitions on subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur that will feature artifacts such as audio testimonies about the traumatic events that befell the victims and survivors.
Ed Balls and Lord Eric Pickles — co-chairs of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation — said, “This is an important milestone, bringing closer the day when we have a national memorial which properly commemorates the six million Jewish men, women and children, and all others murdered by the Nazis.”
Marie van der Zyl — president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews — stated, “There will be something uniquely powerful about locating a memorial to the Holocaust right next to the center of the UK’s democracy. Whilst the Holocaust was a particular crime against Jewish people, the Nazis also viciously persecuted Roma, gay and disabled people, and this memorial will speak to that.”
“The messages and learnings that one should glean from its memorialization are a powerful reminder of the universal values of fairness and justice that a democratic society has the responsibility to bestow upon its citizens,” she added.