RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Uruguayan Jews paid tribute to the memory of David Fremd, who was stabbed to death by a Muslim convert one year ago in the small town of Paysandu.
Alexander Wajner, president of the Paysandu Jewish Community, said at Sunday’s ceremony that the murder was “an anti-Semitic act” and called it senseless.
“It was the day when world jihadism reached a remote corner of the world called Paysandu and attacked with all its fury,” he said.
Fremd, 55, an active member of the small Jewish community in Paysandu, was stabbed in the back 10 times by the killer, who reportedly yelled “God is great” in Arabic. Later the killer declared that he “followed Allah’s order.”
Uruguay’s Chamber of Representatives at an event earlier this month to fight hatred and discrimination spoke of the attack on Fremd.
“Unfortunately we cannot think that such events will not be repeated, so we have to be very emphatic in condemning these xenophobic and terrorist acts,” said Jose Carlos Mahia, president of the Uruguyan Chamber of Representatives, according to the El Pais newspaper.
In October, a Uruguyan court ruled that the killer, Carlos Peralta, cannot be held responsible for his crime by reason of insanity and should be sent to a psychiatric center rather than prison.
Two months after the attack, Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez and several senior government officials attended a local Holocaust day ceremony in Montevideo.
“It is fair to remember the infamy that represents the madness of Nazism, which claimed so many Jewish lives, so that it does not happen again,” Vazquez told the crowd of 1,200 at a ceremony held by the Israelite Committee of Uruguay, the South American country’s umbrella Jewish organization.