Killing of Holocaust survivor treated as anti-Semitic attack
28 March, 2018, 01:11 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
Prosecutors say they believe that the killers of an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who was stabbed and burnt in her Parisian flat last week were motivated by antisemitism.
"While France is still reeling from trauma after the [Islamic] 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 family member of Mireille Knoll said she suspected a neighbor who used to come to see her and was in the apartment during the day.
A French nanny told her mother she had been "fooled and tricked" before she was allegedly murdered by her employers and thrown on a bonfire, a court has heard. Just previous year, a elderly Orthodox Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, was beaten and thrown out of her window in France.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday it was "plausible" someone killed her because she was Jewish, and anti-Semitism needs to be fought on a "fundamental and permanent" basis. Knoll's son says she treated the man "like a son".
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Radouane Lakdim had been spotted and tracked by the intelligence services, but the risk of acting out had not been detected. In this image taken from La Depeche Du Midi, police attend an incident in Trebes, southern France , Friday March 23, 2018.
She had also complained to police that a neighbour had threatened to set fire to her home, according to reports.
"For the Jews of France, the nightmare continues".
French President Emmanuel Macron said that he was emotional after the "appalling crime" and vowed to fight anti-Semitism, which France's Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia said Monday was robbing the country's Jews of "a human face".
Daniel Knoll said his mother suffered from Parkinson's disease and was not aware that her neighbor had spent time in jail for molesting the 12-year-old daughter of a woman who acted as her live-in carer.
The CRIF umbrella grouping of French Jewish organisations called for "the fullest transparency" by the authorities investigating the killing.
As a child, she was one of the few who escaped the notorious round-up of thousands of French Jews in 1942, who were sent to their deaths in Nazi death camps by local authorities.
The apartment in the 11th arrondisement of Paris where Mireille Knoll lived.
In 2011, an Islamist gunman shot dead three children and a teacher and a Jewish school in the southwestern city of Toulouse.
France's half-a-million-plus Jewish community is the largest in Europe but has been hit by a wave of emigrations to Israel in the past two decades, partly due to the emergence of a virulent strain of anti-Semitism in predominantly immigrant neighbourhoods.
The public prosecutor's department in Paris opened its investigation into "a murder based on the assumption that the vulnerable victim belonged to a specific religion".
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