Spanish village that changed name from Kill Jews’ Town hit with anti-Semitic graffiti


(JTA) — A Spanish village that changed its name from Kill Jews’ Town, breaking its ties to the Spanish Inquisition, has been subject to repeated anti-Semitic graffiti.

The town’s mayor, Lorenzo Rodriguez Perez, filed a complaint Tuesday with police over the latest act of vandalism, in which all the signs bearing the village’s new name were spray-painted with anti-Semitic and racist graffiti, The New York Times reported Thursday.

In recent months, graffiti also has been painted on the town hall, public benches and other areas of the community.

The town formerly known in Spanish as Castrillo Matajudíos returned two years ago to its original name, Castrillo Mota de Judíos, or Castrillo Jews’ Hill.

“A name change, sadly, doesn’t only bring about positive consequences and the respect it deserves,” Rodriguez Perez told the Times. “There are some people who want us to forget the Jews — and certainly not get closer to Israel — but we will not bow to any attempt to create a threatening environment here.”

The town, whose official shield includes a Star of David, held an official ceremony last October to mark the name change. Some 50 residents of the town voted several months earlier for the name change at the suggestion of the mayor, who submitted the proposal to return to the original name. Rodriguez Perez said the name was changed during the Spanish Inquisition in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

A massacre of Jewish people is believed to have taken place near the town in 1035, while another massacre happened inside the village in 1109.

In addition to the name change, the village has begun to promote its Jewish history, including an archaeological project to dig up the remains of a synagogue in the village, according to the newspaper.

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