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Holocaust survivor memorial destroyed in California — police investigate possible hate crime


How awful

Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Vandals toppled a Holocaust memorial fountain in Santa Rosa, California, last week. Local authorities are now investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

What are the details?

Authorities found the fountain at Santa Rosa Memorial Park — which can be used as a ritual hand-washing station — toppled, broken, and in pieces.

The memorial was erected in 2016 by Daniel Judd in honor of his parents. Judd's mother was a Holocaust survivor who died earlier that year.

The fountain is mosaic-style and lists 12 people of the Jewish faith who died during the Holocaust.

In a statement, Judd said that he worried the vandalism was due to a hate crime.

“That's what led up to the Holocaust and genocides," he explained. "People hating and getting angry. Mom always spoke about forgiveness. It's sad to see somebody or a group of people would go and tear it down."

Judd said that it would be a generous gesture if the public banded together to fix the fountain and "make it a place of healing."

"That was always the message for [my mother]," he added.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that a crowdfunding page — launched Wednesday — has raised more than $8,900 for repairs at the time of this writing.

The outlet reports that Judd will use any donation overages to "enhance education initiatives."

“We need to be really spreading the word like my mom did when she was alive," Judd added. “People need to deal with their anger before it gets out of line and turns into hatred. That was a big part of her talk."

What else?

This is the second publicized incident in which vandals destroyed a Holocaust memorial over the last week.

A Tennessee memorial was spray-painted with anti-Semitic slurs on June 13.

In a tweet, the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote, "In last few days, two #Holocaust memorials in US desecrated by vandals in Tennessee and California. We will never allow the 6 million Jews and lessons of the #Shoah to be erased."

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