French Jewish community alarmed as 2 held in Holocaust survivor’s death

Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, 85, was found stabbed to death last week after her apartment in Paris was set afire. Photo by UEJF/EPA-EFE

March 28 (UPI) — Two people were arrested on Tuesday in the suspected anti-Semitic killing of an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor in Paris, a death that has some in France’s Jewish community on edge.

Authorities said Mireille Knoll, who died after being stabbed multiple times in her apartment, had her apartment set on fire after the attack.

The two unnamed suspects were indicted for “voluntary homicide because of the true or supposed religion of the victim, theft aggravated by three circumstances and degradation of the property of others by a dangerous means.”

Knoll escaped the roundup of 13,000 Jews in Paris to Nazi death camps in 1942. Just last year, an elderly Orthodox Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, was beaten and thrown out of her window in France.

On Monday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said it was “plausible” someone killed Knoll solely because she was Jewish.

Knoll’s murder has rattled France’s Jewish community, which numbers approximately 400,000.

“People are extremely shocked and very worried,” Marc Knobel, head of studies at French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, told The Local.

“There have been 11 anti-Semitic murders since 2000 and added to that, there is all the everyday violence that the Jewish community goes through.”

Haïm Korsia, grand rabbi of France, called Knoll’s death “tragic.”

“Horrified by the tragic loss of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, almost a year to the day after the murder of Sarah Halimi-Attal,” he tweeted. “The horror of crime and the violence of the murderers are identical and remind us of the negative side of humanity.”


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