We Remember Mireille Knoll: Holocaust survivor murdered by Muslim neighbor in Paris
WE REMEMBER: One year ago today, Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Jewish woman Holocaust survivor found burnt, raped and stabbed 11 times by her 29-year-old Muslim neighbor in her Paris apartment.
At age 9, she fled Paris to escape a notorious World War II roundup of Paris Jews. French police herded some 13,000 people — including more than 4,000 children — into the Vel d’Hiv stadium in 1942 and shipped them to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. Fewer than 100 survived.
A family member with Brazilian citizenship helped Knoll and other relatives escape Nazi-occupied territory for southern Europe and then Canada. She returned to France only after the end of the war.
Over the years her grandchildren and other French Jews moved to Israel, but Knoll stayed in her beloved Paris, living nearly her whole life in the modest apartment on Avenue Philippe Auguste.
Like many who survived Nazi horrors, Mireille Knoll embraced life, eating out and going to the theatre despite limited means. Even as age and Parkinson’s disease took their toll, she delighted in receiving guests — until one of them stabbed the 85-year-old to death because she was Jewish.