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Police escort Jewish tourists for Holocaust memorial in East End

PUBLISHED: 19:37 27 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:59 05 October 2010

Bettington (right) and his tourists with police escort in Whitechapel

Bettington (right) and his tourists with police escort in Whitechapel

Carmen Valino

POLICE officers escorted a party of Jewish tourists on a commemorative walk through London’s East End to mark this week’s Holocaust Memorial to the Second World War—after previous years had been marred by violence. But the rain kept most of the tourists away from Sunday’s walk through Aldgate and Whitechapel

By Mike Brooke

POLICE officers escorted a party of Jewish tourists on a commemorative walk through London’s East End to mark this week’s Holocaust Memorial to the Second World War—after previous years had been marred by violence.

But the rain kept most of the tourists away from Sunday’s walk through Aldgate and Whitechapel.

There were more police officers than tourists themselves, organiser Clive Bettington admitted.

“A police van had to follow us on the walk for our safety,” he told the East London Advertiser on Sunday.

“We’ve had stones hurled at us in previous years and have faced race hate.”

But there was no violence this year. Clive added: “We got through the day without incident, thanks to the high visibility’ presence of police.”

It was in contract to last year when his guided tour was targeted by stone-throwing close to Hughes Mansions in Vallance Road, scene of Hitler’s last V2 rocket attack on London at the end of the Second World War.

Police this year discussed security protection with organisers the night before Sunday’s walk and agreed it could go ahead because tensions over Gaza had eased.

Pol Sgt Andy Fittes, from the operations and events planning unit at Limehouse, said: “We had been advising the Holocaust walk organisers to think about their safety because of what’s happening in Gaza causing tension and anti-Jewish graffiti.

“They have had a few problems in the past with the Holocaust walk which were our biggest concern. We have to take anti-Semitism very seriously.”

The annual walk was part of Holocaust remembrance for the 64th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Nazi Germany’s worst death camp where 1,300,000 men, women and children from all over Occupied Europe were put to death between 1942 and 45. Nearly all were Jews taking the brunt of Hitler’s ethnic cleansing’ race hate in which six million perished.

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Disturbing rise in anti-Semitism mars Holocaust Day—MEP


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