Govanhill community’s disgust after vandals wreck Holocaust rose tree memorial

The Holocaust memorial in Govanhill was smashed off its wooden post. (Pictures: Romano Lav)
The Holocaust memorial in Govanhill was smashed off its wooden post. (Pictures: Romano Lav)

A Glasgow community has expressed its digust after vandals destroyed a newly-erected memorial to victims of the Holocaust.

A plaque commemorating the lives of thousands of people murdered during World War II was planted in the rose garden in Queens Park, Glasgow, in August.

It is thought to be the first memorial of its kind in Scotland.

The Romani Rose Tree Memorial was unveiled at a ceremony on the commemoration of the date in 1944 when more than 4000 Roma people were murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau in one day.

But the charity which instigated it being installed was horrified when the plaque was ripped from is plinth.

A spokesman from Romano Lav, a Govanhill-based charity, said: “Romano Lav unveiled our memorial on Roma Holocaust Day this year.

“We are saddened by the vandalism of the memorial and will be looking to replace the plaque as soon as we can.”

On Facebook the group posted: “It is especially important that this memorial is placed in Govanhill as Govanhill is where the vast majority of Roma people in Scotland call home.

“However, It appears that over the weekend, our young people’s genocide memorial has been violently destroyed. We at Romano Lav are disgusted by this act of vandalism.

“We will not tolerate racism, intimidation, or intolerance directed towards our Roma communities, or indeed towards anyone else.”

A spokeswoman for Stand Up To Racism said: “To desecrate the memory of the Roma and Gypsy people’s suffering in the Holocaust is an outrage that all Glasgwegians, bar the mindless perpetrators of this attack, will oppose.

“As part of a heightened atmosphere of racism across Europe we’ve seen violent attacks on Roma people in Italy and elsewhere alongside the growth of the far right.

“Racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism are at the centre of the racist and fascist right’s agenda.

“Just like in the 1930s, the Roma people are also becoming a target.

“We stand with our Roma neighbours and friends and condemn this.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “The incident has not been reported to police, although officers are aware through posts on social media and will be approaching those concerned.”