Proposed shopping center on deportation site is protested


PRAGUE (JTA) — Opponents of a proposed shopping center to be built on the site where Jews were deported to Nazi death camps want to ensure that an appropriate monument also is erected.

Protesters wearing yellow Stars of David and pushing empty shopping carts met Monday at the site in Prague where construction on a controversial shopping center is set to begin, the Czech News Agency reported. The protesters are wary of a pledge by the United Kingdom-based developer Lordship to build a monument to the Jewish transport victims who left from the site and also want to ensure that the monument will be dignified..

A spokesperson from the municipality said the developers came up with the idea for a monument on their own initiative. Prague Jewish Community Chairman Frantisek Banyai has said there already is a memorial plaque to the site as part of the adjacent Park Hotel.

Developers said they plan to design the monument once they receive a construction permit for the now empty lot. Lordship leased the lot in 1997 and did not obtain a land-use permit until 2006.

Local residents have protested previously against the planned shopping center over potential traffic problems and its effect on neighborhood shops.

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