Bronze Stars of David Stolen From Massachusetts Memorial for Young Girl Killed in the Holocaust
Two bronze Stars of David were stolen over the weekend from a Massachusetts memorial honoring a young girl killed in the Holocaust, the local news outlet NECN reported on Tuesday.
The sculpture, called “Myriam’s Memorial,” was created by Fred Manasse, 81, to remember his sister who was murdered in a Nazi concentration camp.
Manasse, a German-born retired engineer, called the theft a hate crime, saying he does not think those responsible could intend to make money off the Stars of David, as they do not contain enough bronze to “make it worth their while.” He added that the thieves “probably wanted to strike back at the Jewish people.”
The sculpture, which portrays childlike hands cupping the air within the smaller star of the two, was found missing from the cemetery on Monday.
Therese Desmond, the cemetery’s superintendent, said the defacing of a children’s memorial is “just beyond understanding,” and urged people with information about the crime to notify police.
Desmond added that she is “hoping people who visited the cemetery or were driving through maybe someone saw something unusual or [some] suspicious activity.”
Manasse last saw his sister in 1939, when she was a toddler. His father was killed in Auschwitz in 1942, and though he never found out where his mother and sister were killed, he believes they were taken to one of the camps in Poland. According to The Boston Globe, Manasse came to the United States at the age of 9, together with his brother, after surviving the war by hiding in various places in Europe.
Myriam’s Memorial was installed at Milton Cemetery in 2014. Manasse said the sculpture “finally allowed me a place where I could meditate about [my sister’s] life, as much of it as I know.”
He told The Boston Globe that the theft has made him “very upset,” and lamented to NECN that, “It shows the hate hasn’t gone away after 70 plus years.”