The wrong pri­or­i­ties for Shoah memo­rial

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

Lord Wasser­man is right

( JC, March 3): West­min­ster is not the place for an­other Holo­caust memo­rial. We al­ready have in this coun­try about 10 Holo­caust memo­ri­als and cen­tres, in Ne­wark, Hyde Park, the Jewish Mu­seum, the Im­pe­rial War Mu­seum and else­where. None has pre­vented the re­cent rise in an­ti­semitism and at­tempts to dele­git­imise Is­rael.

We should be ask­ing why some stu­dents, who have stud­ied the Holo­caust at school, seem not to have made the con­nec­tion be­tween that event, and Jewish peo­ple and their state to­day. As a re­cent House of Com­mons re­view put it, “too many young peo­ple have far too su­per­fi­cial an un­der­stand­ing of the causes, na­ture and con­se­quences of the Holo­caust.”

An­other piece of sculp­ture and an ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre in West­min­ster are likely to be the tar­get of graf­fiti and will need to be pro­tected by a barri- er, hardly the im­age one would want. Some of the mil­lions set aside for it would be bet­ter spent on im­prov­ing Holo­caust ed­u­ca­tion in schools, and on pre­serv­ing the mem­o­ries of the sur­vivors. back to his home in St John’s Wood, some 15 miles from where I lived. Per­haps I thought he could be a use­ful con­tact.

It was a jour­ney of com­plete si­lence from him. He never thanked me for the ride, and when I asked about meet­ing the PM, the re­ply was swift: “Why on earth should the Prime Min­is­ter want to meet you,” he asked, scathingly.

Well, his boss later proved that he did. Mr.Wil­son and I met per­haps a dozen times. He even came to a cel­e­bra­tion of my pro­gramme You Don’t Have To Be Jewish.

Talk­ing of which, Kauf­mann came on to that pro­gramme to plug a book he had writ­ten about Is­rael. “Why an­other book about Is­rael,” I asked. “Be­cause there hasn’t been one be­fore,” he an­swered. I then pro­ceeded to name a list of re­spected au­thors, rang­ing from Abba Eban to Harold Wil­son him­self. He got up and walked out of the stu­dio.

Michael Freed­land, Bournemouth, BH1

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