Two men have been charged with fatally stabbing an 85-year-old French Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust. Paris prosecutors say the death is being probed as an “anti-Semitic murder.”
The woman, Mireille Knoll, was stabbed 11 times in her apartment in the 11th arrondissement of Paris before her home was set on fire, according to government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux, who recounted the attack on Twitter. Her body was discovered in her apartment on Friday.
The public prosecutor’s department in Paris opened its probe into “a murder based on the assumption that the vulnerable victim belonged to a specific religion,” according to the New York Post.
“All the necessary means will be mobilized so that we will figure out the motivations of the authors of this barbaric act, which reminds us of the darkest hours of our history,” Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said, CNN reported. “To attack a Jew, it is to attack France and the values that establish the foundation of the nation.”
As a child in France during World War II, Knoll managed to escape the 1942 roundup of more than 13,000 Jews by fleeing with her mother to Portugal, Paris lawmaker Meyer Habib told Reuters.
Thousands of Jews were taken to the Velodrome d’Hiver cycling track that year and sent on to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
After the war, Kroll returned to the French capital and married a Holocaust survivor, who died in the early 2000s.
One of the men is a neighbor in his 20s whom Knoll knew well and who had visited her that day, Knoll’s son, who did not wish to be named, told Agence France-Presse.
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