Your splendid but sad article about the medals of Captain Soloman Davis ( JC, Nov 13) rings all too true. In the 1990s, when my article about Jewish Paras at the Battle of Arnhem in 1944 was published in the Journal of Military History, a collector contacted me to say he owned the Military Medal of Glider Pilot Sgt. Louis Hagen, a German Jewish refugee decorated for valour. I had spoken to Louis during my research and knew his medals had been stolen in the 1970s and his family had to purchase replicas.
I kept quiet on hearing the collector’s boast but called Hagen’s daughter, as Louis had since passed away aged 84 in 2000. I urged her to pursue the collector via her solicitor to at least offer to buy the originals back. The collector refused point blank to co-operate. Louis married a Norwegian woman post war but, when he died, I gently reminded the family that he should have a Star of David and the prestigious MM award engraved on his headstone for all to see; they readily agreed and so his grave is marked, on a hillside in the Norwegian mountains he loved, at Asker near Oslo. Martin Sugarman (Archivist of the AJEX Jewish Military Museum) London