UK approves plan for national Holocaust memorial

New memorial will be located between the Houses of Parliament and will also feature an education center.

Dan Verbin ,

Train stands at end of train tracks at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum
Train stands at end of train tracks at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum
Flash 90

The United Kingdom has approved a plan to build a national Holocaust memorial next to the British parliament.

The decision was approved this week by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher, reported the Jewish Chronicle.

The memorial will be be built in Victoria Tower Gardens, a green space between the Houses of Parliament, the River Thames and the Milibank and Lambeth bridges.

It will be built out of 23 giant bronze fins. There will also be an underground education center.

The idea for the memorial was proposed by the David Cameron government in 2016 but had been put on hold by the City of Westminster, where the UK parliament is located.

The proposal was most recently put to an October 2020 public enquiry by the government.

The memorial was supported by over 170 MPs, including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who described the project as “vital,” reported BBC News.

"There will be something uniquely powerful about locating a memorial to the Holocaust right next to the centre of the UK's democracy,” Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told the BBC. "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."

MP MIke Freer, who represents London’s heavily Jewish Golders Green area, said in a statement that the memorial will be important in a time of rising anti-Semitism.

“It is incredibly welcome news that the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens has been approved, and I look forward to visiting when it is completed. Recent events in my constituency have shown that there is still too much anti-Semitism in our society,” he said.

“In the near future, the personal living testament of the survivors will be lost. I hope that this memorial serves as a permanent reminder of why we must stand against anti-Semitism and racism in all its forms, wherever it is found.”