Two probed for Paris murder of Holocaust survivor

Two probed for Paris murder of Holocaust survivor

Two probed for Paris murder of Holocaust survivor

"When he was a boy, he helped her", Knoll's son Daniel told Army Radio. He lived next door to Mrs Knoll, and regularly used to visit her, after the pair first met when he was seven.

Halimi's neighbor, 28-year old Kobili Traore, was arrested the next day, who, according to prosecutors, allegedly recited verses from the Koran before throwing her out of the window, shouting: "I've killed the Shaitan [devil in Arabic]". Both suspects deny the charges. She had been stabbed several times and her apartment set on fire.

A murder investigation was formally opened, but authorities have not commented on the motives of either suspect at this stage.

She added: 'He burned away all the childhood memories we had'.

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".

French police discovered Knoll's charred body covered with 11 stab wounds after a fire broke out in her Paris apartment on Friday. The blaze was put out within 40 minutes, after emergency workers were called. "We can not yet say if the motive for the murder was anti-Semitism".

In 1942, Knoll had narrowly escaped a notorious wartime round-up of Paris Jews who were deported to Nazi death camps, family lawyer Gilles-William Goldnadel told broadcaster BFMTV.

Two years into Nazi occupation, French police forces carried out mass arrests of approximately 13,000 Jews living in the capital, who were then deposited in the now-demolished "Velodrome d'Hiver" stadium near the Eiffel Tower.

Knoll's mother was able to escape the roundup with her daughter because she had a Brazilian passport, according to The New York Times.

Jewish groups in France regularly complain about growing anti-Semitism, saying they are routinely targeted by radical Islamists and far-Right activists.

"The barbarity of this murder sends us back to that of Sarah Halimi just one year ago", Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities, said in a statement Monday.

"People are extremely shocked and very anxious", Marc Knobel, head of studies at France's Jewish umbrella organization CRIF told The Local. The suspect is in a psychiatric hospital.

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. In 2012, four people were killed, including three children, outside a Jewish school in Toulouse.

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