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A memorial fountain in a California graveyard that was erected to commemorate Holocaust survivors was destroyed last week. Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Dave Linscomb suspects it was toppled down by protestors who forcibly removed it from its foundation, according to the Daily Wire. It is being investigated as a hate crime.
The fountain was discovered in pieces on the ground and Sgt. Linscomb told the press that whoever is guilty of this crime will likely be charged with felonies due to the level of damage it endured.
Linscomb also said that the culprit could potentially be charged with hate crimes as well if a police investigation reveals that the motives were anti-Semitic. “If there is something more to it, we’d go that direction,” said Linscomb. “But that needs to be vetted out with the investigation when we get a hold of who did this.”
The memorial fountain was “part of a memorial created for the late Lillian Judd and her husband Emil, beloved figures in the local Jewish community who survived Nazi concentration camps during World War II,” reported The Press Democrat. “Jews visiting the northeast Santa Rosa cemetery used the fountain for ritual washing and cleansing.”
A mosaic was constructed behind the fountain that was commissioned by Dennis Judd, who said of the incident, “That’s what led up to the Holocaust and genocides — people hating and getting angry,” Judd added, “Mom always spoke about forgiveness. It’s sad to see somebody or a group of people would go and tear it down.”
“The hope that mom had was to teach the kids and teach the adults about peace,” he added. “That’s the thing we need to push on. Maybe the community can come together and help us resurrect the fountain and make it a place of healing. That was always the message for (Lillian).”
The toppled fountain is just the latest act of vandalism in a string of statues and monuments to be taken down or destroyed including those of former US presidents, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.
Statues of Confederate figures are also being toppled across the Unites States, as well as several of Christopher Columbus and Francis Scott Key, who wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" America's national anthem.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman defended Ulysses S. Grant after protestors in San Fransisco toppled down a statue of him on Sunday, tweeting, “As it happens, here’s the book I started reading a few days ago. I’ve long been a Grant groupie; he was imperfect, but without him there would have been no emancipation — and he fought the Klan. Leave his statues alone!”