The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance is outraged by the murder of Mireille Knoll and calls upon French and European authorities to step up their efforts to fight the revival of violent antisemitic attacks.
On March 23, 2018, Knoll was found murdered in her Paris apartment. An 85-year-old Holocaust survivor suffering from Parkinson’s disease, she had been stabbed to death by a neighbor who then set her apartment on fire. Her murder is the latest in a string of similar incidents including the April 2017 murder of Sarah Halimi, a 66-year-old Jewish doctor and teacher beaten and thrown to her death from her apartment window. The difference is that this time French authorities recognized the crime as antisemitic and French people marched to protest Knoll’s murder.
We are witnessing a rise in violent attacks against Jews in Europe. Circumstances and conditions are different from 1939. 21st century European antisemitism is not state-sponsored. But, make no mistake—Jews are still the target. They are under cultural and physical assault in much of Europe.
Antisemitism matters, and not just for Jews. Attacks against Jews generally preface coming unrest in the surrounding society. The answer to antisemitism is to create a generation of young people who are not ignorant of the past. We must foster in them, as future leaders, the knowledge that humankind has within it the capacity for terrible evil as well as remarkable goodness, and that neither is a foregone conclusion.
The Dallas Holocaust Museum teaches the history of the Holocaust and advances human rights to combat prejudice, hatred, and indifference. At the Museum, we teach visitors to become Upstanders—to choose to stand up in the face of evil and to never look the other way.