'Profoundly inappropriate': Tributes left for Queen at Holocaust memorial spark backlash

·Political Correspondent, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: The Holocaust Memorial in Hyde Park is pictured on January 27, 2017 in London, England. Holocaust memorial day today marks the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp by Soviet troops. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Tributes to the Queen were left on a Holocaust memorial in Hyde Park. (Getty Images)

Flowers for the Queen have been spotted on a Holocaust memorial in Hyde Park, London, sparking a backlash online.

The memorial, opened in 1983, consists of two boulders lying within a gravel bed surrounded by silver birch trees; it is the first Holocaust memorial set up in the country.

One of the boulders reads "Holocaust Memorial Garden" - and directly below the words "for these I weep, streams of tears flow from my eyes because of the destruction of my people" are inscribed.

Read more: Stolpersteine: UK joins the world's largest Holocaust memorial

The quote, from the Book of Lamentations, is written in English and Hebrew.

Journalist Grace Dean on Monday tweeted: “The Holocaust Memorial Garden in Hyde Park has now become a makeshift Queen Memorial Garden", followed by photographs of the memorial littered with tributes to the late monarch.

Among the tributes was a piece of paper directly below the inscriptions reading: "thank you for everything, ma'am" – accompanied by a photograph of the Queen, and a drawing of a Millennium Eye and Big Ben.

An inscription is seen engraved into a stone set in the Holocaust Memorial Garden in London's Hyde Park January 27, 2009. Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated internationally on January 27, the anniversary of the date of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. REUTERS/Stephen Hird   (BRITAIN)
A tribute for the Queen reading 'thank you for everything, ma'am' was left below an inscription from the Book of Lamentations. (Reuters)

Another tribute on top of the boulder read: "To our beloved Queen, thank you for being such an amazing monarch for the past 70 years. Rest in peace. Forever in our thoughts. All our love, Scott and Kim xxx."

The tributes have triggered a backlash. "This is so profoundly inappropriate," said London-based Rabbi Lev Taylor tweeted on Monday.

Daniel Sugarman, director of Public Affairs for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, also described it as "inappropriate" and claimed it was not what the King would want.

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"Not only is this completely inappropriate, there is no doubt in my mind that the King – who has been a trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust for many years and has regularly taken the time to meet survivors – would be absolutely horrified to hear about this," he said.

Author and genocide expert Arnesa Buljušmić-Kustura described the scene as "beyond shameful".

It is estimated around six million Jewish people were murdered in the Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis during World War Two, one of the worst genocides in human history.

London, UK, July 2019. The Holocaust Memorial in Hyde Park, London, designed by Mark Badger, Richard Seifert and Derek Lovejoy. This was the first public memorial in Great Britain dedicated to victims of the Holocaust. This is a garden of boulders surrounded by white-stemmed birch trees, located to the east of The Dell.
The Holocaust Memorial Garden, Hyde Park, was set up in 1983 and is the first public memorial in Great Britain dedicated to victims of the Holocaust. (PA)

Responding to Dean's tweet, Royal Parks said they were now "carefully removing" tributes.

“Good morning Grace," it said. "The team are carefully removing the tributes from the Holocaust Memorial and laying them with the others in the official floral tribute area.

It added: "There is also a steward placed there permanently to direct people paying their respects to the floral tribute area."

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It comes after 10 days of national mourning for the Queen, with tens of thousands of tributes left in the area surrounding Buckingham Palace since her death.

Hundreds of thousands of Brits descended on London for the day of the Queen's funeral on Monday to catch a glimpse of her funeral procession.

Watch: Crowd Helps Remove Plastic From Tribute Flowers for Queen in Green Park, London