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Holocaust Survivor Stabbed And Burned To Death In Suspected Hate Crime

The Local France

Mireille Knoll, a French Jewish national, survived one of the most horrific genocides in human history.

She was only a child when the Second World War broke out, during a time when more than 13,000 Jews living in Paris were detained.

At the age of nine, Knoll was able to flee the war-torn country before being taken to a Nazi concentration camp, all thanks to her mother's Brazilian passport.

She later returned to Paris and married a Holocaust survivor, who passed away sometime in the early 2000s.

According to an article by Time magazine in 2016, there are only around 100,000 holocaust survivors alive today.

Famous Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel advocated peace for decades, using his voice to tell stories about the atrocities of a hideous past in the hopes that genocides never happen again.

Unfortunately his message hasn't resonated in the hearts of everyone, and now two people have been charged with the murder of the now 85-year-old Knoll.

Knoll was found dead in her apartment in the east of the Paris. She reportedly had been living there alone.

An autopsy on her body discovered the worst, and authorities and politicians believe her death is part of a larger scheme...

Hate Crime

Knoll was reportedly stabbed more than 10 times before her body was set on fire.

“We are really in shock,” her son said. “I don’t understand how someone could kill a woman who has no money and who lives in a social housing complex.”

The men who have been arrested are reportedly in their 20s. A Paris prosecutor believes that they were driven by anti-Semitic ideology, and have indicted them for "voluntary homicide because of the true or supposed religion of the victim, theft aggravated by three circumstances and degradation of the property of others by a dangerous means," a judicial source says.

Francis Kalifat, the head of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France, said the suspect "said that Jews have money, and that was the reason he attacked her."

According to the Guardian, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said it was “plausible” that the elderly woman was killed because of her religion.

People took to Twitter to express their worries about antisemitism, and to give their condolences to Knoll's family.

"The world lost a Holocaust survivor - because of blind hate," one Twitter user wrote.

"This dreadful crime shows why the Jewish people need the state of Israel to be strong. Since we are not safe anywhere else, it always needs to be there as a refuge for the most persecuted people in history," wrote another user.

France's Jewish community has been expressing their concerns over the rise of anti-Semitic attacks for several years now.

Anti-Semitic Violence

According to The Local France, recent figures show that anti-Semitic violence has increased by 26% last year in France.

In April 2017, Orthodox Jewish woman Sarah Halimi was beaten and thrown out of her window in the same area that Knoll lived.

French authorities believed the 65-year-old woman was not killed because of her religion, but last month a judge overturned that decision and condemned the murder as a hate crime.

In light of both of these brutal murders, The Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) "expects the authorities to operate with the utmost transparency in the ongoing investigation so that the motives for this barbaric crime are known to everyone as soon as possible."

[H/T: UNILAD / CNN / The Local France / Guardian]