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News: Spanish town named “kill Jews” to seek Jewish studies center

June 24, 2014

Castrillo_matajudios01(June 24, 2014 – JTA) — The Spanish town in the process of changing its name because it contains the words “kill Jews” is promoting plans to open a Jewish studies center.

Lorenzo Rodriguez, the mayor of Castrillo Matajudios in northern Spain, was scheduled to present the plan at a meeting Wednesday at the seat of the local government in Leon, Radio Arlanzon reported.

In addition to opening a center for studies on the culture of the Sephardim — including Spanish Jews who converted to Christianity or left the Iberian Peninsula because of persecutions during the Spanish Inquisition — Rodriguez also is seeking to initiate archaeological excavations that he said would help clarify how his town of a few dozen families came to be receive its controversial name.

On May 25, a majority of residents at a town hall meeting voted to change the name to Castrillo Mota Judios, meaning “camp Jews’ hill.” Rodriguez, who initiated the vote, believes it was the original name because the town had a sizable Jewish contingent and was changed during or before the Inquisition.

The intention to change the town’s name was published recently in the region’s official publication. If no one objects to the proposal within one month of the publication, then the town may file for an official name change with the district.

Original post here.

From Wikipedia on how the town possibly got its name:

Until recently, the name of the town was Castrillo Matajudíos, an approximate translation of which is “Kill-Jews Camp.” On May 16, 2014, following a campaign led by mayor Lorenzo Rodríguez, villagers voted to change the name of the town to Castrillo Mota de Judíos, or “Camp Hill of Jews.” This is similar to the original name of the town, Castrillo Motajudíos. The town received its original name in 1035, and the change from Motajudíos to Matajudíos occurred in 1623. The name change process will begin on June 3.

The origin of the change of name from “Hill of Jews” to “Kill Jews” can be derived to the last 2000 years of religious strife and struggle for power over the Iberian peninsula. After the Christian Spanish expulsion of the Muslim Moors and Jews with the final fall of Granada in 1492 there were mass conversions to Christianity and the name changed from “Hill of Jews” to “Kill Jews”.

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