Hero’s grave is marked with Star of David
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.