A UK Jewish leader called for a boycott of a small Cornish village on Saturday, after local officials decided to restore a sign reading “Hitlers Walk” at a park, some ten years after it was initially removed.
The park in Mevagissey was named for a local politician in the 1930’s, nicknamed “Hitler” for his dictatorial manner, according to BBC.
The sign in the park was removed in 2005 by a now defunct local body after receiving a number of complaints, but the Mevagissey Parish Council recently decided to reinstate it, prompting a furious response from the Jewish community.
Jewish community leader Harvey Kurzfield said the move was “outrageous and completely unfeeling,” and called for a boycott.
“It is unbelievable to stoop to doing something like that,” he said. “I would urge Jewish people to boycott the village.”
But local officials maintained that residents continue to refer to the park by its original name, which pre-dated the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust.
“Local people have known it as Hitlers Walk since the 1930s,” Parish councillor John Daniel said. “I am 80 and I have always known it as Hitlers Walk. All the local people have known it as Hitlers Walk and they wanted it back. It’s not offensive, it’s just what local people call it.”
Daniel said it would be “political correctness gone mad” to remove the sign.
Jade Barron, another local official who was in favor of the sign said the name is “a massive part of the village’s history” and said that striking the name would be “a shame.”
“We didn’t want to offend anyone, it’s just always been known as ‘Hitlers Walk,'” he said.