Ed Alcock


The Banality of Evil

541 anti-Semitic acts were recorded in France in 2018, 74% more than in 2017. In the series, The Banality of Evil, the anonymous facades of the buildings where French jews have been murdered in recent years, are juxtaposed with the portraits of survivors of anti-Semitic attacks. 

The restlessness grows. Some think about moving to another city, or emigrating to Israel. The authorities, and an important part of French society, listens to them, but they do not know if it will be enough.

The murder in Paris of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old survivor of the Nazi persecution, has been added to a succession of anti-Semitic acts and crimes in the country with the largest Jewish community in the European Union and the largest Muslim community. The authorship of many of these aggressions - young people more or less inspired by jihad - points to a new form of anti-Semitism different from the traditional hatred of the Jew of the old autochthonous extreme right.

The death of Knoll on March 23 is the eleventh murder considered anti-Semitic in France since 2006. The cycle began that year with the kidnapping, torture and murder of Ilan Halimi, 23 years old. It followed in 2012 with the killing of three children and an adult in a Jewish school in Toulouse. It continued in 2015 with the death of four other people in the attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Vincennes, outside of Paris. The defenestration of Sarah Halimi, 65, in 2017, and now Knoll’s death are the most recent episodes.


The Banality of Evil