"Death to the Jews"
The insane thing is for hundreds of years the locals
thought this was a great name for their town.
A Jewish organization is petitioning French officials that a small hamlet outside of Paris change its name from what translates in English as “Death to Jews.”
“[The fact that the name] was unnoticed during seventy years since the liberation of France from the Nazis and Vichy is most shocking,” Shimon Samuels, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s international relations, wrote to France’s Interior Minister reports Time.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre's director of international affairs, Shimon Samuels, wrote to the French interior Bernard Cazeneuve, saying he was “shocked to discover the existence of a village in France officially called 'Death to Jews'. It is extremely shocking that this name has slipped under the radar in the 70 years that have passed since France was liberated from Nazism and the (pro-Nazi) Vichy regime.”
|In May, a Spanish town called Castrillo Matajudios |
(Little Hill Fort of Jew Killers) changed its name to
Mota de Judios (Hill of the Jews).
But the deputy mayor of Courtemaux, the village of 289 people that oversees the contested hamlet, is resistant to a name change, arguing that the tradition should be respected.
“It's ridiculous. This name has always existed. No one has anything against the Jews, of course. It doesn't surprise me that this is coming up again,” Marie-Elizabeth Secretand said, as quoted by AFP.
“Why change a name that goes back to the Middle Ages or even further? We should respect these old names. A previous municipal council, at least 20 years ago, already refused to change the name of this hamlet, which consists of a farm and two houses,” she added.
In 1992, an anti-racism organization lobbied the interior minister and the authorities to get the name changed – but in vain, AFP reported.
It’s not the first time the name of a European village has caused concern: in May, residents of a Spanish village named Castrillo Matajudios [where ‘matar Judios’ means ‘killing Jews’] voted to rename it. The name became Castrillo Judios, Hill of the Jews – the older name of the town.