Foreign Secretary dismissed London Holocaust memorial as “preposterous”

Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Carrington, who had won the Military Cross for his bravery during the Second World War, wrote of the original plans for a London Holocaust Memorial: “The whole idea is preposterous”.

Following extensive research at The National Archives, Heritage and Destiny can reveal that the original proposal for a London Holocaust Memorial was strongly opposed by three senior Cabinet ministers and by Britain’s leading diplomats. Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington wrote to colleagues: “The whole idea is preposterous”.

This original memorial was first mooted in the spring of 1979, and was a far more modest proposal than the gigantic project presently being discussed by the planning committee of Westminster City Council.

H&D‘s assistant editor Peter Rushton has submitted a detailed report to Westminster’s planning committee, revealing the full story behind the original memorial plans, and the reasons for senior ministers’ objections, which are even more valid in relation to the vast project now under consideration.

Leading proponent of the latest Holocaust memorial, Lord Pickles (ex-chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel) seen here with former Prime Minister Theresa May

The record also reveals that the Jewish community itself was deeply divided over these plans. Their original proponent Greville Janner (later ennobled as Lord Janner and disgraced in a series of ‘paedophile’ scandals) wrote secretly to Tory ministers attacking his fellow Jewish Labour MP Reg Freeson (a former editor of the ‘anti-fascist’ magazine Searchlight).

Earlier sketchy and inaccurate reports about the original London Holocaust Memorial have mentioned that Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington opposed the plans, but the true story – reflecting a consensus among Britain’s senior diplomats against the plans – can only now be told.

Click here to read H&D‘s report.

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