Survivors descend on London to agree a British memorial to the Holocaust

[from The Independent]

17-Helfgott-AFP-GettyA Holocaust survivor who saw almost all his family wiped out in the death camps will today take part in an event which it is hoped will help to create a fitting national memorial.

Ben Helfgott, 84, forced to spend his childhood years in concentration camps, will join hundreds of survivors at an event staged by the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission, which will discuss the creation of a new, permanent British commemoration.

When he created the commission in January, David Cameron warned that there was a real danger that the events of the Holocaust will become increasingly remote to younger generations.

The cross-party commission, whose members include actress Helena Bonham Carter, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and the Arts Council England chairman Sir Peter Bazalgette, will stage a unique conference in London today, to discuss new education initiatives and memorial proposals gathered from a nationwide public appeal.

The guests include concentration camp survivors, individuals who escaped to Britain on the Kindertransport and those who were hidden from the Nazis as children.

Discussions will include how best to capture digitally the testimony of Holocaust survivors such as Mr Helfgott, and the possible creation of a new permanent museum. The new memorial will focus on the role that Britain played through the Kindertransport, and the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen camp.

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