Two men have been arrested over the killing of an 85-year-old Jewish woman whose body was found after a fire broke out in her Paris apartment, police sources said Monday.
A Paris lawmaker who spoke with one of the woman’s sons said she had managed to evade as a child the notorious 1942 roundup of over 13,000 Jews in Paris during World War II.
Fewer than 100 of those who were were detained at the so-called Vel d’Hiv cycling track and then sent to the Nazi death camps survived.
An autopsy conducted on the woman, who lived alone, showed she had been stabbed several times before Friday’s blaze.
She was identified only as “Mireille K.” by the Jewish Community Protection Service, which works closely with the French police.
The Paris prosector’s office said Sunday that it had not yet determined a motive, but “is not excluding any hypothesis.”
“The investigation has uncovered elements suggesting there was not an anti-Semitic motive, but this possibility has not yet been excluded,” the SPCJ said in a statement late Sunday.
The CRIF umbrella grouping of French Jewish organisations urged “the fullest transparency” by the authorities investigating the killing, “so that the motive of this barbarous crime is known as quickly as possible.”
France’s half-a-million-plus Jewish community has voiced increasing concern over a rise in violent anti-Semitic acts.
Last month, a judge confirmed that the April 2017 murder of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old orthodox Jewish woman who was beaten and thrown out of her window was indeed motivated by anti-Semitism.