This story on the incident in the East End yesterday (see post further down) ran in the Daily Express, which has no online version to link to so I am posting it in full:
By Lianne Kolirin
A 60th anniversary memorial service to victims of the last V2 bombing on
London was yesterday sullied by the sickening anti-semitic behaviour of
Dozens of people – most of them pensioners – gathered outside Hughes Mansions on Vallance Road in London’s East End to remember the 133 people who were killed when a Nazi V2 rocket struck on the morning of March 27 1945.
The silent but deadly weapon hit at precisely 7.21am.
Among the wreaths laid were ones from the Queen and local MP Oona King. Also
in attendance were the elderly friends and residents of those who died. Of those killed in the attack, 120 were Jewish.
But the ceremony, which for most will be their last opportunity to remember
their loved ones, was dramatically disrupted by a sickening display of anti-Semitism.
Clusters of mainly Asian youths stood around jeering and spitting at the assembled crowd. Some then went on to pelt the crowd of more than 100 with
stones, eggs and apples. More than 20 youths were involved in the street attack, while others lobbed items from nearby flat windows.
Gloria Gordon, 70, who was one of those hit by eggs, was just nine-years-old
at the time of the attack.
Speaking through her tears, she said yesterday: “We lost so many friends that
day – children we used to play with.
“This was supposed to be a special day, but look at what they’ve done to me. I’m so upset. It’s a disgrace.”
RAF veteran Louis Lewis, 89, who was also hit with an egg, said: “I am going
to Paris in two weeks with the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women
(AJEX) to lay a wreath at the Arc du Triomphe. “This is not going to stop me. Actually, it’s given me more of an impetus to go.”
Oona King, the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, described the youths’ behaviour
as “the most distressing thing” she had ever seen. She added: “The likelihood is that the eggs were intended for me. It’s one thing to throw eggs at a politician, but something else to hit someone who helped save this country and allowed people to live here in peace today.
“It shows a shocking level of ignorance, never mind the level of disrespect.
“These eggs were thrown by people who live in this country, but have no idea
at all of where their freedom comes from or who gave it to them.”
Earlier on in the proceedings the crowd heard how most of the victims had been sleeping in their beds when the V2 struck.
Veteran actor Lee Montague read out the names of all the victims, and the
Last Post was sounded. Prayers were read out by religious ministers and relatives of the deceased.
Sara Freedland, mother of the well-known journalist and broadcaster Jonathan
Freedland, was eight-years-old when her mother, Feige Hocherman, and aunt,
Rivvy Bitenski, were killed in the attack. Speaking after the memorial, she said: “Even though it was 60 years ago, today was very emotional. My mother and my aunt were both killed, and what upset me so much was what happened at the flats today.”
Her son Jonathan was also in attendance. He added: “Even though I never knew my grandmother, the fact is that she was my grandmother and I am connected to her.
“It was very emotional, and what made it even more emotional was to see my
own mother up there so choked up. She was bereaved at a very young age in a
very violent way.”
Morris Berkovitch, now 75, was seriously injured in the bombing. Then aged
just 15, he subsequently spent four months in hospital.
“I was unconscious and buried under the rubble. I didn’t know whether I was
alive or dead. It wasn’t until I was in the hospital that my parents found
out I had been rescued,” he said.
Police were called to the scene but arrived after the memorial was finished.
Clive Bettington, who was one of the organisers of the memorial, said: “The
police aren’t interested about what goes on in this area. Christians and
Jews are regularly attacked. It’s an outrage. “This is something which the Government has to address.”