Paris Woman Who Survived the Holocaust Brutally Killed in Suspected Anti-Semitic Attack

by Abel Hampton March 28, 2018, 0:47
Paris Woman Who Survived the Holocaust Brutally Killed in Suspected Anti-Semitic Attack

There have been 11 anti-Semitic murders in France since 2000 but the killing of an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor in her Paris home which echoed that of another elderly Jewish woman in Paris, has left the community in France particularly shocked and scared.

Authorities are investigating the attack as an anti-Semitic incident.

Mireille Knoll's apartment, where she lived alone in the 11th arrondissement, or district, of Paris, caught fire on Friday. The flat was then set ablaze in an apparent attempt to cover up the murder.

They will face possible charges of "murder related to the victim's religion, real or imagined", as well as aggravated robbery and destruction of property, AFP reported, citing judicial sources.

Knoll's family told the news media that one of the suspects was a Muslim neighbor whom Knoll had known since he was a child.

Prosecutors say Halimi, a 66-year-old Jewish teacher and physician, was murdered by her Muslim neighbor in April partly in connection with her Jewish identity. Her apartment was set alight.

CRIF has called for a rally in memory of Knoll in Paris on Wednesday.

Two suspects, both described as young men in their 20s, including one who had known Mireille Knoll "for a long time", were charged with stabbing her to death. "I want to express my emotion after the horrific crime committed against Mme Knoll", he wrote late on Monday.

In the summer of 1942, as Germans and French police were rounding up Jews and placing them in the cycling stadium the Vélodrome d'Hiver Knoll and her mother were able to escape thanks to a Brazilian passport.

The killing of Knoll came a month after a judge made a decision to treat the murder of a retired Jewish schoolteacher in Paris last April as anti-Semitic, after a long campaign by community groups.

Ms. Knoll's killing comes less than a year since a 65-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman named Sarah Halimi died in an anti-Semitic attack - she was beaten in Paris and thrown out of a window. Most of those Jews were later murdered in Nazi death camps. Last month, a judge declared that anti-Semitism was at the heart of her case after public outcry reached the point that French President Emmanuel Macron intervened personally.

In 2015, vandals desecrated 250 tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in eastern France only days after four Jewish people were killed in an attack on a kosher grocery in Paris.

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drain, who is now visiting Israel, said of the attack, "it reminds us of the fundamental and permanent side of this battle [referring to anti-Semitism]", after visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


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