Jewish cellist plays to stop Holocaust memorial

Jewish cellist plays to stop Holocaust memorial


norman lebrecht

February 18, 2021

Raphael Wallfisch has joined the growing roll of British Jews who don’t want to see a Holocaust memorial opposite the Houses of Parliament. His mother Anita, herself an Auschwitz survivor, opposes the project which was launched by David Cameron with bipartisan support and is back by the Chief Rabbi.

Raphael, who gave a fundraising recital this week to stop the memorial, said: ‘It has become a political campaign, no longer about the sacred memory of the Holocaust. It is planned to show ‘British values’, not history as it really is.’

Full background here.


  • sam says:

    tour groups troop through these memorials taking selfies to post on instagram as virtue signaling to collect thumbs ups, while anti-semitism continues its rise all across Europe, from Germany to France to Poland to England…

  • Greg Bottini says:

    I think the idea of Holocaust memorials in general is a good one, but this particular design, as shown in the linked article, is truly ugly, and it would be a blight on the neighborhood.

  • Herbie G says:

    He’s spot-on. It’s an unsightly pile of junk and passers-by will be unable to identify its purpose from its appearance. It destroys the view of Parliament Square and is out of keeping with its environment, it’s in a location where parking is difficult and it will be a target for those crowds of thugs, left and right wing, who delight in destroying statues or daubing graffiti on buildings. It’s a horrific waste of money and its even more outrageous that public money will be spent on maintaining it, especially in the present climate of pandemic-inflicted austerity. It’s an insult to the memory of all those who perished in the concentration camps and it will, if built, do little more than anger those who live in the vicinity and have to see this monstrosity every time they venture out into the street.
    Apart from all that, I see nothing against it…

    • Violin Accordion says:

      And let’s have a tribute and apology monument for thousands of our very own British homosexuals, honourable people, imprisoned for decades, many of them not even sexually active , until the 1960s, leaving them and their families with a lifetime of anguish .a single note expressing love was enough for a sentence.
      Like so many, a friend in his late 80s was jailed, and tortured weekly with electric shock aversion therapy to his genitals, treated no better than murderers and rapists, having been hunted down by police, miles from anywhere ,in a single consensual encounter .
      He was a revered headmaster with a loving family of 5 and harmed no one .

      We need not look further than home to pay tribute to many brave men who fought in wars, only to be
      Punished for such anonymous acts and imprisoned

    • SVM says:

      Moreover, for such a crowded part of Westminster, reducing the amount of open green space would be a travesty. Why the zeal to colonise every last bit of urban parkland with concrete and buildings? Why are bigwigs and councils so determined to inhibit people from the simple pastime of lounging on the grass and eating a picnic (and, of course, disposing of any litter responsibly)?

      The Victoria Tower Gardens are a wonderful little oasis from the noise, crowds, security barriers, and heavy traffic of Millbank and Parliament Square, offering a place where one can walk among grass and trees, sit on a bench (and have a picnic) without being “moved on”, and enjoy iconic views of the Palace of Westminster and over the river Thames. When the weather is nice, these Gardens are the perfect place to loiter before (and during the interval of) a concert at St John’s, Smith Square.

      I wonder whether a more suitable site for such a project may be somewhere in the vicinity of Liverpool Street station, which already has two fitting (albeit underappreciated) memorials to the Kindertransport.

  • Christopher Clift says:

    I have seen the Jewish memorial in Berlin on several occasions when visiting the city, and the only ones I saw who paid it any “respect” were the ones who either used the plinths as picnic tables or allowed their children (some not so young either I might add) to clamber over them.

    • Xebec59 says:

      My wife and I paid it due respect I hope. It’s an experience alongside the downstairs exhibition which moved us both to tears. The concrete blocks are the artist’s vision, explained upon entry, not similar to anything else we have encountered. We must remember and we will

  • Ray Taylor says:

    I dont know enough about the detailed plans for the memorial to comment on the validity of this.
    In principle I am in favour of it being built along the lines of others such as those in Jerusalem and Washington DC. The bottom line has OF COURSE GOT TO BE that it does great honour to the sacred memory of the Holocaust and does not promote any other values, British or otherwise.
    I speak as a Messianic Jew and if anything would like to see unbiased information on the Christian response to the atrocities.
    I would welcome any information / updates re: the the progress of the Holocaust Centre and any developments.

  • RW2013 says:

    Hard to imagine my town without our memorial, also very controversial at the time

  • JussiB says:

    That’s exactly what I think this whole woke leftism culture is — the white people’s political campaigning for minorities that they know nothing about but think they do.

    • Violin Accordion says:

      Many people REMEMBER many horrors in history. But most keep a balance and do not take obsessive ownership of a single event no matter how dreadful, and let it consume their life.
      In the here and now, 2 million Palestinians in the occupied territories of Gaza and West Bank have been refused vaccination, whilst Israelis are almost all completed.
      And Haredi neighbourhoods have an incidence of Covid nine times higher than the general population due to their blind resistance in following accepted protocol.
      I won’t throw out a link but I regularly read JT, JC Jpost Haaretz and Hayom.
      as UK has 400m doses of vaccine , I’m sure Boris Johnson would make sure that Palestinians get the essential doses that they desperately need.
      This could avoid another “holocaust situation “ by default

    • DODI KOMANOV says:

      I agree completely with Helene Kamioner. I’d like to add a few words about the Holocaust memorial in Zagreb, expected to be finished by April 2021, a work by eminent artists and art historians judged to be a plagiarism (none of them, however, willing to speak publicly about it). Although there were discussions about where the monument should be placed, what should be written on it – should it be the Holocaust memorial or should it in addition to it commemorate the Holocaust victims in NDH or all the NDH antisemitic and racist laws victims (Jews, Serbs, Roma), journalists did not find it interesting to raise the question of the plagiarism. The author of the plagiarised work Fabio Mauri died in 2009, but his work from 1993, the installation “Il Muro Occidentale o del Pianto” (“The Western Wall or the Wailing Wall”), presented for the first time that same year at the 45th Venice Biennale, speaks for itself ( The fact that practically everything was plagiarised (theme, idea, concept, realisation) is a disturbing one while it shows that the approach to the Holocaust is sometimes merely formal, and therefore disdainful. And this is something one should also pay attention to when speaking of commemorating Holocaust.

  • IP says:

    Jews and Holocaust survivors are not exception in this. Blacks, gays, any distinguishable group at all, become pawns in the game of some people sitting comfortably in the shade.

  • Steve Jones says:

    What an ugly design the proposed memorial is! What has happened to discernment and taste? Salisbury Cathedral Close has recently been host to ugly sculptures that are not in keeping with the atmosphere of the Close. Elizabeth Frink’s ‘Walking Madonna’ is a beautiful, wonderfully evocative addition to the Close, which I have appreciated so much in my late evening walks around that Close: the ‘Prisoners of Conscience’ window and the new Font are also beautiful and wonderful things; but those sculptures that were introduced recently were oh-so-horrible!

  • Bill Ecker says:

    While more expensive, Holocaust Museums which teach and clearly show the atrocities are meaningful. I have been to several and was especially touched by the Holocaust “treasury” in the Jewish Museum in Vienna, which showcases the belonging the Nazi’s plundered from the Jewish people. Especially moving and effective is the large amount of children’s toys. The Holocaust Museums in New York City, Washington D.C. and Yad Vashem are well thought out to enlighten Jews and gentiles alike about the horrors of the Nazi atrocities. I also understand the museum in Los Angeles is very good. A monument does not display and teach and is essentially worthless in the mission to stop future genocide, which in essence is their end mission.