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Murder of René Hadjadj (2022)
Murder of René Hadjadj (2022)
May 17, 2022
Total victims:
Photo Progress/Richard MOUILLAUD

Murder of René Hadjadj (2022)

1 Jew was killed in an antisemitic attack in Lion, France on 5/17/2022

The shocking murder of René Hadjadj in Lyon, initially not identified as an antisemitic act, reignited concerns over the treatment and recognition of antisemitic violence in France.

On May 17, 2022, the quiet community of La Duchère in Lyon, France, was rocked by the shocking murder of René Hadjadj, an 89-year-old Jewish man. The elderly Hadjadj, affectionately known as "Tonton René" to those close to him, met a tragic end when he was reportedly pushed from the 17th floor of his apartment building by a neighbor, plunging to his death. This heinous act not only sent ripples of horror through the local community but also reignited concerns about antisemitism within France, drawing parallels to other high-profile cases such as Sarah Halimi and Mireille Knoll.

René Hadjadj, a respected member of Lyon's Jewish community, had lived a life marked by the peaceful coexistence with his neighbors. However, the circumstances surrounding his death have cast a shadow over this tranquility, with many questioning the motives behind such a brutal act. Initial investigations by the French authorities did not immediately categorize the murder as an antisemitic hate crime, leading to public outcry and demands for a thorough examination of potential prejudice-driven motives behind the attack.

The suspect, a 51-year-old neighbor of Hadjadj, was known to the victim and had a history of interactions with him. Despite initial hesitations to label the act as fueled by antisemitism, subsequent discoveries, including evidence from social media, prompted prosecutors to explore the possibility of antisemitic motivations more deeply. This shift in the investigation has underscored the ongoing struggle to confront and address the specter of antisemitism in France.

René Hadjadj is survived by a grieving family and community that remembers him as a kind and gentle soul. His murder has not only left a void in the hearts of those who knew him but has also raised poignant questions about tolerance, hatred, and the importance of vigilance against the resurgence of antisemitism. As the case unfolds, many hope for justice for Hadjadj and a reaffirmation of France's commitment to fighting hatred in all its forms.

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