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Cameron: New national Shoah memorial to be built next to Parliament

    A team of volunteers from Bushey Synagogue went down to the New Hope Trust Homeless shelter - led by professional gardener Lawrence Cohen - and they spent the morning clearing leaves and making 20 bags of seeding compost in the Community Market Garden
    A team of volunteers from Bushey Synagogue went down to the New Hope Trust Homeless shelter - led by professional gardener Lawrence Cohen - and they spent the morning clearing leaves and making 20 bags of seeding compost in the Community Market Garden

    David Cameron has marked Holocaust Memorial Day by announcing that the new national Shoah memorial will be built next to Parliament.

    The Prime Minister told the Commons that the memorial would be located in Victoria Tower Gardens, the public park area on the north bank of the Thames.

    Mr Cameron said it would be a “striking national memorial”.

    An international design competition will be launched in the hope of the memorial being complete by the end of 2017.

    Mr Cameron told the Commons during Prime Minister's Questions: "I know the whole House will want to join me in marking Holocaust Memorial Day.

    The memorial will be in Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Houses of Parliament.
    The memorial will be in Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Houses of Parliament.

    "It is right our whole country should stand together to remember the darkest hour of humanity. Last year, on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, I said we would build a striking national memorial in London to show the importance Britain places on preserving the memory of the Holocaust.

    “Today I can tell the House, this memorial will be built in Victoria Tower Gardens.

    "It will stand beside Parliament as a permanent statement of our values as a nation and will be something for our children to visit for generations to come.

    "I’m grateful to all those who have made this possible and who have given this work the cross-party status it so profoundly deserves."

    Plans for the tribute were announced a year ago at the launch of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and Mr Cameron met survivors on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the memorial plan.

    Sir Peter Bazalgette, UKHMF chair, said: “The task of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation was to find a site that would allow a striking, prominent and iconic memorial to be built.

    "There is nowhere better to achieve this than beside Parliament. I stood there with a Holocaust survivor earlier this week and I will never forget his reaction when I told him of our plans.

    "It demonstrated how we are doing the right thing for Britain’s Holocaust survivors in preserving the memory of humanity’s darkest hour. But just as importantly, we’re doing the right thing for our country by creating a permanent reminder of the need to fight hatred and prejudice in all its forms.”

    Responding to Mr Cameron’s revelation of the venue, Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock said: “Twenty-eight years ago when the Holocaust Educational Trust was founded, we may have hoped but would never have believed that Holocaust education and commemoration would have become so firmly embedded in this country.

    “This memorial, which will be right in the heart of our democracy, sends a clear message about the determination of Britain to ensure the legacy of the Holocaust for generations to come.

    “With education comes remembrance – this special place will give people somewhere to remember and reflect. When we no longer have survivors among us, this memorial will help to ensure that their experiences are never forgotten.”

    Olivia Marks-Woldman, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust chief executive, said: “The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation shares our goal, to extend the reach and impact of Holocaust commemoration, in order to ensure that as a nation we never forget.

    “Holocaust Memorial Day is the central focus for Holocaust remembrance in the UK and it is fitting that these announcements have been made today.

    “As we come together at over 3,600 events across the country, we have a chance to reflect on what has happened in the past and ensure we carry these lessons into a better future.

    “A memorial in the heart of Westminster will add to the work already being done, and ensure a lasting commitment to Holocaust commemoration in the UK.”

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