The Westminster Holocaust memorial ignores Jewish suffering

It’s groundhog day all over again for the long-planned Holocaust memorial and learning centre in Westminster’s Victoria Tower Gardens. This huge, Brutalist construction would destroy a quiet green oasis valued by local residents. Last July, the Court of Appeal upheld a ruling that the structure was prohibited by a 1900 Act of Parliament, passed to protect the park from such developments. Yet now the government – which previously overrode Westminster council’s objections – has declared it will legislate to cancel out that 1900 law. It will thus ride roughshod over a historic legal protection for the local community. Is this really a desirable context for a project supposedly devoted to

Monuments to the second world war are looking increasingly dodgy

Most monuments are literally set in stone — or cast in bronze to better survive the weather. Being enduring, they arguably become ‘prisoners of history’, as this fascinating series of essays by Keith Lowe is titled. Conversely, perspectives are like the weather, constantly changing, as relationships between and within nations, and views on social and moral norms, shift over time, as we are seeing particularly at present. The inherent tension between the human desire for monumental permanence, especially after the upheaval of war, and the natural transience of social values, proves fertile ground for this examination of the lessons that can be drawn from second world war monuments around the