Council backs down over Hitlers Walk sign


A proposed boycott by Cornish Jews has led a village to defer indefinitely its plan to erect a sign naming a local park “Hitlers Walk”.

The title was originally created by Mevagissey residents in the 1930s in reference to despotic local councillor Wright Harris, but the park sign was removed in 2005 following objections.

Councillors asked for it to be restored in the week after Holocaust Memorial Day but have backed down after local Jews, who also had the support of a Church of England bishop, called for a boycott to shun the fishing village.

Harvey Kurzfield, chairperson of the Cornish Jewish community, welcomed Sunday’s decision, which he said allowed both sides to emerge from the conflict satisfied.

“I’m very pleased. Hopefully that’ll put an end to it. After they discussed it properly they made the decision they had to, because it wouldn’t have just offended Jews, but others too.

“The council showed a common sense approach to something that could have been quite unpleasant. I would think that it is now scrapped, but this means the council can withdraw with dignity.”

Mr Kurzfield also praised the “tremendous” support shown by the non-Jewish community of Cornwall, particularly from Rev Tim Thornton, the Bishop of Truro.

Parish councillor John Daniel, who proposed that the sign be reinstated, said locals will still call the park Hitlers Walk despite the decision.

“It’s just trying to keep people happy. There was no intent to offend anyone, but this won’t stop anyone from calling it Hitlers Walk. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the name. My father and his father called it Hitlers Walk.

“We were in a situation that we’d have to get an application to the county council to get the sign and that was unlikely after all the rumpus. The decision is deferred and it could come back again, but the likelihood of it coming up again is not very high.”

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