Parisians march to protest murder of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor

French people took to the streets after Mireille Knoll was murdered.

March 28, 2018, 9:35 PM

PARIS -- French Police Officer Lt. Colonel Arnaud Beltrame and Mireille Knoll were both honored on Wednesday after they were murdered on March 23 in separate incidents, at different locations.

Beltrame's death has been determined by authorities to have religious-based motives and authorities are still investigating the motive behind the killing of Knoll.

PHOTO: Thousands of people participate in a silent march in Paris, France, March 28, 2018, in commemoration of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Jewish woman who was murdered in her home in what police believe was an anti-Semitic attack.
Thousands of people participate in a silent march in Paris, France, March 28, 2018, in commemoration of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Jewish woman who was murdered in her home in what police believe was an anti-Semitic attack.
Yoan Valat/EPA via Shutterstock

In East Paris, at Place de la Nation, thousands turned out to pay tribute to Knoll, who was the victim of a suspected anti-Semitic attack where she was stabbed to death and her apartment was set on fire. The march stopped at the block of flats where the 85-year old Jewish woman lived.

The tribute was calm and peaceful, although not without political frictions.

Far-left French politician Jean-Luc Melenchon and National Front Leader Marie Le Pen ignored a tweet from the President of the Council for French Jewish Organizations, also known as Crif, saying that neither were welcome to the demonstration.

PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron places his hands on the flag-draped coffin of Lt. Colonel Arnaud Beltrame after awarding him posthumously with the Legion of Honour during a national ceremony on March 28, 2018 at the Hotel des Invalides in Paris.
French President Emmanuel Macron places his hands on the flag-draped coffin of Lt. Colonel Arnaud Beltrame after awarding him posthumously with the Legion of Honour during a national ceremony on March 28, 2018 at the Hotel des Invalides in Paris.
Phillippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Daniel Knoll, Mireille's son, countered Crif, saying on RMC Radio Wednesday that the Jewish organization was "being political" and that "everyone without exception" could participate in the march.

PHOTO: Daniel Knoll stands with family in The Synagogue des Tournelles in Paris, March 28, 2018, during a service in memory of his mother, Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Jewish woman murdered in her home in what police believe was an anti-Semitic attack.
Daniel Knoll, second from left, the son of slain Jewish woman Mireille Knoll, stands with relatives in The Synagogue des Tournelles in Paris on March 28, 2018, during a service in memory of his mother, the 85-year-old Jewish woman murdered in her home in what police believe was an anti-Semitic attack.
Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

However, after pulling out of the march due to a hostile reception, Le Pen later rejoined, and was asked why she attended by a journalist, she replied:

"Because I cannot stand the fact that our Jewish compatriots are the target of the Islamist Fundamentalists and the officials do not care."

PHOTO: Flowers and placards are displayed outside Mireille Knoll's apartment during a silent march in Paris, France, March 28, 2018.
Flowers and placards are displayed outside Mireille Knoll's apartment during a silent march in Paris, France, March 28, 2018.
Thibault Camus/AP Photo

A 29-year-old neighbor of Knoll and a 22-year-old man, police report, have been arrested but not formally charged.

Beltrame was killed by an ISIS-inspired attacker in Trebes, South of France, after he volunteered to swap places with an hostage.

A state funeral was held for Beltrame prior to the march, as was the burial of Knoll who was laid to rest in the Southern outskirts of Paris.

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