French police eye anti-Semitism in Holocaust survivor's death

French police eye anti-Semitism in Holocaust survivor's death

Two men have been arrested and face possible charges of "murder related to the victim's religion, real or imagined" as well as aggravated robbery and destruction of property, judicial sources told AFP.

"While France is still reeling from trauma after the terrorist attack in Trèbes, we discover today the shocking murder last Friday of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor", French MP Meyer Habib, who represents France's overseas constituency, including in Israel, said on Sunday.

A Paris lawmaker who spoke with one of the woman's sons said she had managed as a child to evade the notorious 1942 roundup of over 13,000 Jews in Paris during World War II. But Knoll's cause of death wasn't the fire or smoke inhalation, an autopsy revealed, but at least eleven stab wounds. Virtually all were subsequently murdered at Auschwitz.

"Multiple details of the incident were eerily reminiscent of the murder of Sarah Halimi, Hy" d, a 66 year old teacher who was brutally killed by a young Muslim neighbor nearly exactly a year ago.

Mireille Knoll was found stabbed to death and partially burned after her attackers reportedly tried to set fire to her apartment in a working-class suburb in the French capital.

Recalling the murder of 65-year-old retired school teacher Sarah Halimi, which shook the French Jewish community in April 2017, Habib said in his post that "for the Jews of France, the nightmare continues". "She escaped the anti-Semitism of the Nazis but in the end her destiny followed her, because she was killed because of anti-Semitism".

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"Once again, an innocent person has been brutally murdered in France for no other apparent reason than the fact that she was Jewish and perceived as vulnerable", said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. She previously complained to police about a neighbor who threatened to set her home on fire.

All of this comes on the backdrop of ongoing tension over previous attacks on Jews in Paris.

A Franco-Malian assailant beat Halimi to death in her before throwing her from a third-story window. "I don't understand how someone could kill a woman who has no money and who lives in a social housing complex", he said.

"The barbarity of this murder sends us back to that of Sarah Halimi, just one year ago", Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities, said in a statement Monday. 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. But the underlying problem in France existed long before that. By the end of the terrorist's siege, four people had been executed.

The apartment block in the 11th arrondissement of Paris where the alleged murder took place.

A record 7,900 French Jews emigrated to Israel in 2015 following the deadly jihadist shooting at a Parisian kosher supermarket two days after the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

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