Hero’s grave is marked with Star of David

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

THE GRAVE of a Jewish Sec­ond World War hero has been marked with a Star of David al­most 80 years af­ter he was killed in ac­tion

The Church of Eng­land has al­lowed the cross on the grave of Pi­lot Of­fi­cer Harold Rosof­sky, who was buried in an Anglican church­yard, to be re­moved and re­placed with the Jewish sym­bol.

Mr Rosof­sky, 26, was killed when his plane came down over Suf­folk on Septem­ber 8, 1939.

His burial was ar­ranged by the RAF, but the Com­mon­wealth War Graves Com­mis­sion was un­able to con­tact his fam­ily to ask how he should be re­mem­bered.

He was buried in the church­yard of All Saints & St An­drew, in the Suf­folk vil­lage of Hon­ing­ton and Sapis­ton.

His sis­ter’s niece, Jen­nifer Hoff­mann, con­tacted the Com­mis­sion af­ter the fam­ily learned of the ex­is­tence of the grave in 2012.

Ms Hoff­mann told the Com­mis­sion it “seems wrong that he has a cross on his grave”. The Star of David was al­lowed as an ex­cep­tion to the rule that non-Chris­tian im­ages on mon­u­ments should not be al­lowed in church­yards.

David Ether­ing­ton, Chan­cel­lor of the Dio­cese of St Ed­munds­bury & Ip­swich, said that Mr Rosof­sky was wor­thy of “ad­mi­ra­tion and re­spect”.

A spokesman for the Com­mis­sion said: “If there is no re­li­gious sym­bol, or it is in­cor­rect, there were no re­quests from orig­i­nal fam­ily mem­bers and the de­scen­dants can prove the re­li­gion, the CWGC are more than happy to change the head­stone.”

Martin Su­gar­man, ar­chiv­ist for the As­so­ci­a­tion of Jewish Ex-Ser­vice­men and Women, helped Mr Hoff­mann’s fam­ily get the head­stone changed.

He said: “It is im­por­tant in these times of ris­ing an­tisemitism that we raise the pro­file of our war dead and the sac­ri­fice they made. The only re­ally vis­i­ble way pos­si­ble is en­sur­ing the Star of David goes on their head­stones.”

Ex­am­ples of Jewish sym­bols in Chris­tian grave­yards are rare. In an­other known in­stance, the grave of First World War air­man Lt Harry Wal­ter Jassby, in Ald­bor­ough Hatch church­yard, in Es­sex, bears a Star of David.

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