MILTON (CBS) — A pedestal is all that’s left in a Milton cemetery, and police are trying to find out who vandalized a Holocaust memorial there.
The artist who created the memorial for his sister who died in the Holocaust calls the theft a hate crime. But he’s hoping the vandalism brings the memorial’s message to even more people.
“I know where my father died. I don’t know where my mother or sister died, but they were together in a place called Theresienstadt,” says artist Fred Manasse who escaped the Holocaust as a child.
He created a memorial to his younger sister Myriam. A bronze sculpture with a Star of David within a Star of David and a pair of tiny hands. He gave it to the Milton Cemetery two years ago.
“Basically to be a place I could go and mourn for my sister,” he says. And to remember all the children who died at the hands of the Nazis. But over the weekend vandals struck. “I think it was broken off and stolen to desecrate it,” Manasse says.
The bronze isn’t worth much, so Fred thinks it’s a hate crime. “I was outraged,” he says.
Today Milton police and firefighters searched a small pond next to the memorial hoping the vandals simply threw the sculpture away, but found nothing. Also today, Fred Manasse realized the theft might bring his Holocaust message to more people.
“It’s important for us to speak directly, and cause people to remember this horror,” he says.
If the sculpture is not recovered, Fred says, as an artist, he won’t duplicate it, but will consider creating something new.