France: Life sentence for killing of Holocaust survivor

A French man has been sentenced to life in jail for stabbing an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor to dying in an antisemitic assault, a case that triggered widespread outrage and known as consideration to resurgent anti-Jewish sentiment in France.

After horror and grief, Mireille Knoll’s household feels justice after Wednesday’s verdict.

“We’re exhausted however glad that they acknowledged the antisemitic nature of the assault,” her son Daniel Knoll advised The Related Press. The decision “was applicable for this horrible crime.”

Knoll was discovered useless with a number of stab wounds in March 2018 in her condominium, which was then set ablaze. Tribute marches have been held round France to honor her and denounce racism. President Emmanuel Macron attended her funeral and mentioned the attackers “profaned our sacred values and our historical past.”

Yacine Mihoub, a neighbor who grew up within the Paris public housing mission the place Knoll had lived most of her life, was convicted of killing a weak individual based mostly on spiritual motives, based on Knoll’s household.

One other suspect was acquitted of homicide however convicted of aggravated theft with spiritual motives.

Each had denied focusing on her for being Jewish, and their attorneys had argued towards classifying the assault as antisemitic. However the case served as a reminder of each historic and present antisemitism in France.

“It is rising. Everybody wants a scapegoat,” Daniel Knoll mentioned. “We undergo the implications.”

“The decision is not sufficient. We should educate, educate, educate,” he mentioned.

As a 9-year-old throughout World Conflict II, Mireille Knoll was pressured to flee Paris together with her household to flee a infamous roundup of Jews. French police herded some 13,000 individuals – together with greater than 4,000 youngsters – into the Vel d’Hiv stadium in 1942, and shipped them to the Auschwitz dying camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Fewer than 100 survived.

Knoll and different kinfolk have been capable of escape Nazi-occupied territory due to a member of the family with Brazilian citizenship, based on her son. They went to southern Europe after which Canada, however Knoll returned to France after the top of the warfare, and stayed.

Knoll’s dying got here a yr after one other Jewish girl, Sarah Halimi, was thrown from her Paris balcony to her dying.

Knoll’s household is pushing for an annual to honor all victims of antisemitism, and to encourage younger individuals to succeed in out to remoted aged neighbors.

Except some sort of motion is taken, her son mentioned, “After this verdict, Mother will likely be forgotten.”

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