New Holocaust memorial and museum in London

London has announced the establishment of a major Holocaust memorial and museum. Although an exact location has yet to be determined, three prominent sites in the city have been shortlisted for the buildings.

Spitfire in flight

Spitfire in flight Image by Tony Hisgett / CC BY 2.0

There will also be an open-air memorial serving as the centrepiece, which will be housed near a National Learning Centre. This, the Evening Standard reports, will contain a vast library of the testimonies of survivors of the Nazi camps and the British soldiers who helped to liberate them. And those who survived the genocide still living in Britain will be asked to give their testimony in photographs, words and video recordings.

Holocaust victim in Nordhausen

Holocaust victim in Nordhausen Image by Louise Palanker / CC BY 2.0

The Holocaust Commission, chaired by Mick Davis of the Jewish Leadership Council, was set up in 2013 to establish a permanent memorial and learning centre. The Government will contribute £50 million towards the construction and an endowment, but the project will in the main be donor financed. The sites are Potters Field, near Tower Bridge and City Hall; an area next to Millbank Tower in Westminster; and the Imperial War Museum.

On Tuesday, portraits of genocide survivors were beamed on to the wall of Royal Festival Hall, one of more than 2,400 events taking place across the UK this week to mark 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. Politicians, dignitaries and religious leaders joined with 1,000 guests, including survivors in Westminster for a commemorative event, and 70 candles designed by sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor to mark the occasion were lit at locations in the capital, around the country and at Auschwitz, in Poland.

At Auschwitz, 300 survivors were gathering again today, joined by leaders from 39 countries as well as guests such as Schindler’s List director Steven Spielberg, to honour the millions who died.

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