A memorial dedicated to Holocaust survivors at a California cemetery was allegedly pushed to the ground, where it broke into multiple pieces.
The memorial was a fountain created for the late Lillian Judd and her husband Emil, both Holocaust survivors during World War II, JWeekly reported.
The Times of Israel reported that Lillian regularly spoke about the Holocaust to local students in Sonoma County. A mosaic erected behind the fountain listed the names of 12 family members killed in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
Jews who visited the memorial in northeast Santa Rosa, California, used the fountain for ritual washings and cleansing.
Police are investigating the incident as an act of vandalism and are trying to determine if it is a hate crime.
🇺🇸✡️ — CALIFORNIA: A fountain dedicated to Holocaust survivors was toppled onto the ground in pieces over the weekend at Santa Rosa Memorial Park. Police are investigating the act of vandalism to determine if it is a hate crime. pic.twitter.com/2cvC0vDy5l
— Belaaz (@TheBelaaz) June 16, 2020
The vandalism allegedly occurred on Sunday night or Monday morning, the Times of Israel reported. A maintenance trailer at the cemetery’s other end also suffered damage, but nothing was reported stolen.
Lillian’s son, Dennis Judd, said that he hopes the community can find another symbol to rally around whatever replaces the fountain.
“The hope that mom had was to teach the kids and teach the adults about peace,” Dennis Judd said. “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 vandalism of the fountain comes as rioters have destroyed monuments across the country over the past week, including that of Confederate figures, George Washington, and Union general Ulysses S. Grant.