January 16, 2019

85-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor in Paris Murdered in Anti-Semitic Hate Crime

The life of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll came to an end on the evening of Mar. 23 when she was stabbed to death.

Knoll was reportedly stabbed 11 times before her Paris apartment was set on fire. Two suspects are currently in custody for the murder, one of whom was a neighbor of Knoll. She had known him since he was seven and she had frequently invited him over to her apartment despite her family warning her not to.

“My mother had a thirst for knowledge and meeting new people and talking to them and that’s what killed her,” Daniel Knoll, Knoll’s son, told the Associated Press.

However, Knoll did recently call the police on the neighbor because he had threatened to kill her.

French prosecutors are looking to charge the suspects for murdering Knoll simply because she was Jewish.

“Until now, I haven’t felt anti-Semitism in France,” Knoll told Army Radio. “Of course there were dangerous Muslim extremists, but until today I didn’t feel in danger. I work with people from all walks of French society; many are afraid of Muslim extremists, but I didn’t feel that until now.”

Jessica Knoll, Mireille Knoll’s granddaughter, told the AP, “Today it is my grandmother and tomorrow it will be a grandmother, a grandchild, someone else’s father.”

Mireille Knoll was able to flee to Canada as a child when the Nazis were rounding up Jews in Paris to Auschwitz in 1942.

Knoll’s murder comes a year after 65-year-old Jewish woman Sarah Halimi was murdered in what was deemed as an anti-Semitic act. As the AP report notes, “anti-Semitic violence increased by 26 percent, and criminal damage to Jewish places of worship and burial by 22 percent” in 2017.

In 2015, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that it might be time for Jews to leave Europe as anti-Semitism is once again on the rise in the continent.

“I am predisposed to believe that there is no great future for the Jews in Europe, because evidence to support this belief is accumulating so quickly,” Goldberg wrote. “But I am also predisposed to think this because I am an American Jew—which is to say, a person who exists because his ancestors made a run for it when they could.”