Brutal Murder Of Holocaust Survivor Leads To Protest Marches Across France

Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old grandmother and Holocaust survivor, was killed in her Paris apartment last week in what many authorities believe was a hate crime.

Knoll was stabbed 11 times and her body was left to burn after her assailants set fire to the apartment.

It is believed that Knoll was murdered simply for being Jewish.

“She survived the Holocaust in the last century, I think she had a happy life, and yet she was killed at home in 2018, frail, and defenseless,” Knoll’s personal care aide, Leila Dessante, told the New York Times.  “What world are we living in?”

Many believe that Knoll’s murder is representative of the swelling anti-Semitism in Paris, comparing the attack to the murder of Ilan Halimi.

As the Washington Post reports:

Jewish advocacy groups were quick to put the case within the context of rising anti-Semitism in France and to point out the similarities to another high-profile case being investigated as anti-Semitic: the April 2017 killing of Sarah Halimi, a 66-year-old Orthodox Jewish physician and kindergarten teacher who was beaten in her apartment and then thrown out a window. 

“This was the same Paris arrondissement, several streets apart,” Noémie Halioua, a French journalist with Actualité Juive told the Post. “And both victims were elderly women who lived alone and who had both previously complained of threats.”

Knoll’s murder has sparked marches across France, with thousands banding together to honor Knoll’s memory and speak out against anti-Semitism.

On Wednesday, protestors gathered at the Place de la Nation and marched in near-silence to Knoll’s apartment building, waving Fench flags and wearing badges with photos of Knoll.

The march was a heartening response in the face of tragedy and bigotry.

In honor of Knoll’s memory, the door of her Paris apartment is now covered with paper hearts.