French-Jewish Holocaust Survivor Found Dead in Burned Paris Apartment; Security Group: ‘Everything Suggests’ It Was Antisemitic Crime
An 85-year-old French-Jewish Holocaust survivor was found dead on Friday in an incinerated apartment in Paris, according to reports.
The incident, Le Parisien newspaper said, took place at the woman’s home on Avenue Philippe-Auguste in the French capital’s 11th arrondissement.
A French-Jewish communal security organization, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA), said five fires had been set at the apartment and the victim — named as “Mireille K.” — was also stabbed 11 times.
Police are investigating the case, and suicide has been ruled out, Le Parisien reported.
The BNVCA said a suspect was being questioned by police.
The victim had reportedly filed police complaints against a local resident who had threatened to burn her.
The BNVCA called for authorities to find and bring the perpetrator to justice, and also determine whether it was an antisemitic crime, “as everything suggests.”
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) urged “total transparency in the current investigation, so that the motives for this barbaric crime are known of all as fast as possible.”
The council’s president, Francis Kalifat, said he spoke for a long time with the children of the victim, and expressed condolences on behalf of the Jewish community.
During his discussions with the Prefect of Police and the Office of the President of the Republic, Kalifat shared the “emotion and the deep concern of the Jewish population of France,” according to the statement.
Last year, the French-Jewish community was shaken by the murder in Paris of 65-year-old pensioner Sarah Halimi.
Halimi was beaten in her apartment, also in the 11th arrondissement, by an Islamist assailant and thrown from a third-story window.
CRIF said the murder on Friday “sends us back to that of Sarah Halimi just one year ago.”
Last month, a French court ruled that the Halimi case would be prosecuted as an antisemitic hate crime.